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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And now, work calls. I'll be working night shifts all weekend. Whee.
mousme: A text icon, dark green text on pale green, that reads There is no normal life. There's just life. (No Normal Life)
The trouble with having a memory that doesn't work well is that after two days I don't remember anything I did at all. :P

 The U.S. continues to travel down the path of political madness. Now Trump has invented a terror attack in Sweden, which made the entire world scratch its head and go "Buh?" There was also yet another rumour of riots in Paris spreading all throughout France (not perpetrated by the President, at least) which as far as I can tell were fabricated by a single website for reasons which escape me. Surely there are enough terrible things happening in the world without inventing more? Of course, the invented ones were all fabricated in order to spread more islamophobia, so I guess that answers my question.

On the house front, I've finally started getting some answers to my queries. Padmapper queries don't get many responses, unfortunately, but I've looked on other sites, and they are quicker to get back to me. I had an appointment to see a house yesterday morning, so with the kind permission of my coworkers I skipped an hour of work (basically I took my lunch super early in the morning) and went to see it. It was in way better shape than the house I saw on Thursday, I will give it that, but the layout was... kind of weird. For one, it had a bathroom practically in the kitchen: a toilet, sink, and shower stall. Now, I've seen powder rooms off of kitchens before, but the weird part is that the master bedroom was on the other side of that wall, with NO door leading to the bathroom. Like, why not have it as an ensuite instead of forcing whoever is in the master bedroom to parade through the living room and then the kitchen in order to go pee or shower? It was just so odd. The basement was unfinished but had lots of room and a decent washer and dryer, and the previous tenants had left behind a ton of stuff: a large black leather sofa, a complete dining room set (one of those tall round tables and four high chairs), a full drum kit in the basement (!!!) and various pots and pans and other stuff. The guy showing me the house was almost as useless as the previous guy from Thursday (what is it with these guys?), but he told me they'd left for a job in a different country. The sticking points for me were: 1) that the staircase to the second floor was incredibly narrow, and I couldn't for the life of me work out how you were meant to get any furniture up there, 2) the house was very cold and I could feel cold air seeping through the walls in the basement, which meant that heating the place would be an expensive nightmare, and 3) the house was also for sale. If the owner managed to sell the house, the new owners could easily tell me to vacate because they wanted to move in, and then I'd have to go through the hassle of finding a new house and paying for another move all over again. No, thank you. There was another family who came to look at the house while I was there, and they noted out a lot faster than I did, so I think my decision not to pursue it was the right one. It was interesting to see what was on the market, but it wasn't for me.

As I was leaving this property, I got a call from a private landlord about another house. I got a weird vibe off her almost right away, because she emailed, texted AND called, all within the space of about an hour. Which, um, is a bit intense. I picked up the call while I was in a Tim Horton's getting coffee for me and my coworkers, and she immediately asked me to tell her about myself. Slightly nonplussed, I replied that I was single, worked rotating shifts, and liked long walks on the beach, which luckily made her laugh. I really need to curb my tendency toward sarcasm, but it's tough to teach an old dog new tricks, I guess. Anyway, I got lucky that she didn't decide I was too much of a smartass, and we made an appointment for 7:30 yesterday evening.

It turned out that that house was WAY nicer than I was expecting. It's huge, though, which might prove to be a bit too much house for me by myself. If I ever end up having kids that will be a different story, of course. Still, for now, it's a lot of house. The layout was more conventional, although the kitchen was kind of close to the front entrance for my liking. That's a detail, though, and not a deal breaker. Each part of the house was in different conditions: some rooms had been recently renovated, some less recently, and a few of the bedrooms were in a state that suggested no one had done anything to them since the house was built. They were all in good condition, however, so it was just a question of how new the floors were and what colour paint was on the walls. There was some very gnarly wallpaper in the master bedroom, which, if I moved in, I'd want to have removed. Again, details. There was a finished basement, and a good-sized washer and dryer, not to mention an actual sink for laundry, which I've never had and have always wanted. That's a big plus. The yard was quite large, but it was covered in snow, and by then it was mostly too dark to see anyway, but the landlady told me that it was all paving stones underneath (that's both a plus and a negative, since it means I wouldn't have to mow the lawn, but it would also mean no grass for the dog at all).

In short, I'm not wild about the place, but it will make for a good backup plan. I have another showing tonight, which I don't think will amount to anything. I replied to an ad showing the picture of a house, but when the management company emailed me the guy said it was the top floor of a triplex. I'm honestly more curious than anything. How is this ordinary looking house actually a triplex? How does it work? So what I want to do is go see for myself, and if the building is a different one from the one pictured, I'll know that this property management company engages in false advertising, and I'll avoid them in the future.

Work has been quiet overall, so there's not much to report there. On our down time my coworker and I have been watching The Walking Dead, which has been growing ever more horrifying. We just started Season 7 yesterday (so no spoilers, those of you who are all caught up!), and it's been both fun and awful to see the arrival of Spoilers for The Walking Dead ) 
On my own time, I kind of got bored with The Clone Wars (sorry), and tried Z Nation (moar zombies!) for the second time. The first time I watched the pilot I noped out because there was a terrible, but terrible CGI zombie baby. Anyway, I decided to give it another chance, and I have been enormously entertained now that I've stuck it out. It's a zombie show  that takes itself seriously, but not too seriously, which makes it a lot of fun. Watching it in parallel with TWD has been pretty wild. TWD is all dark and gritty and holy shit grim, while Z Nation has its dark and sad moments but has fully embraced being an utterly, utterly ridiculous show. It's got genetically modified zombies, plant zombies, a guy who can mind-control zombies, a half-zombie talking head, and a whole Mexican biker gang whose entire aesthetic is based in a cringeworthy way off of the Day of the Dead. Anyway, the show has committed wholeheartedly to being totally over-the-top, and while that makes it kind of schlocky, it also makes for some pretty high-value entertainment. I'm just starting the last season that aired now, and I'm interested to see what new ridiculousness they're going to come up with. :)

Next up on my to-watch list is Elementary, which I haven't watched since last season. I actually don't remember a lot of what happened, so I may have to find the older episodes and refresh my memory. I remember the conspiracy with Sherlock's father, but I don't remember the end result. Stupid faulty memory.

Okay. Time to get on with my day. Talk to you later, LJ!
mousme: A picture of Darth Vader, captioned My Fandom Destroys Planets. (My Fandom Destroys Planets)
 I don't want to make this the All Landlady, All the Time journal, so I promise to try keep it brief. I have been in touch with two paralegals today. The first is actually on maternity leave (she was recommended by a friend who obviously wasn't in the loop), but she gave me some good unofficial advice and then recommended a couple of other names for me to try. I have now secured the services of one of those firms, and will be having my first meeting with the paralegal on Wednesday. She wants me to come in with all paperwork and pictures of my house, so that she can see for herself that there's no damage to the house. Shockingly, she can't take my word for it. ;)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Okay. I am off to find more painkillers in the hopes of making this lingering stress headache go away. I have fish in the oven for dinner, so at least healthy food is in the offing. See you on the flip side, LJ!
mousme: A text icon, white text on green, that reads Zathras trained in crisis management (Crisis Management)
 Nothing terrible, mind you. One of my coworkers called in sick and we couldn't get anyone in to replace her, so I ended up not getting a lunch break, which sucked. Luckily my day wasn't terribly busy, so I wasn't run off my feet, but the tip line went bonkers today, mostly with mentally ill callers and racists, and sometimes mentally ill racists. It's a little draining to have to explain to multiple people that, actually, their muslim neighbours are totally allowed to have lives, to own their own cell phone and computer, and EVEN are allowed to watch videos in Arabic on them! Shocking, I know.

I was also quite bored by the end of the day, which made for a bad combination. I made it out without incident, though, and treated myself to pizza for dinner, and am continuing my re-watch of Orphan Black before bed.

I promise to post at least one entry with lengthier content this week (I can't guarantee it will be more interesting, though). I just need my brain to not be mush at least one day out of the seven. ;)

Oooh, before I forget, I should note that today was a pretty big day in feminist/political circles, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided it would be a good idea to try to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren when she tried to read a letter written by Coretta Scott King (the widow of Martin Luther King Jr.) criticizing Senator Jeff Sessions' terrible track record with black voting rights. Rather than allowing the quote, McConnell invoked what I've understood to be a fairly obscure rule (Rule 19) forbidding any Senator from "[impugning] the motives or integrity of any senator" lest they be be called to order. Warren was called to order, and prevented from speaking at all for the remainder of the session. The extra galling thing is that two other male Democratic senators were subsequently allowed to read the same letter without being rebuked.

McConnell later doubled down on this, with words that were soon to come and bite him in the ass: "She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nonetheless, she persisted."

The media and the internet latched onto those words like the seagulls in Finding Nemo. It was beautiful and inspiring and at times hilarious to watch. People began posting images of all the women pioneers (real and fictitious and all of them inspirational) captioned with the words, and it sounds like more than a few people are taking it up as a personal mantra. #shepersisted and #letliztalk was all anyone could talk about today, and with good reason.


Anyway, that part of today kept me going. It was a bright spark in a day otherwise filled with racist phone calls.

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

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

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

Ugh.
mousme: A text icon that reads: "When the sun has set, no candle can replace it." (Sun has set)
Today was spent dealing with a fair bit of fallout from the mass shooting in the mosque in Quebec City, and my brain is now fried. My section wasn't directly involved, thank goodness, but a lot of people seemed to think we were involved, so I spent most of the day redirecting traffic to the appropriate sources.

I've had to do some compartmentalizing about it, too, in order to get my job done. I had to set aside my visceral horror and my disappointment at the fact that (another) hate crime was committed in my beloved country. Now, I was under no illusions about Canada before, unlike some of my American friends on Twitter who are aghast that our panda-hugging nation has right-wing extremists in it too, but it's still incredibly disheartening to see first-hand that they are finding comfort in the current political climate, and feel emboldened enough to take action.

There's going to be a lot of talk in the next few days about this man being a "lone wolf" and probably mentally ill, and we'll go through the whole list of rhetoric that we usually go through when it comes to single white male shooters. We don't like our terrorists white, after all. Luckily the provincial and federal governments have declared this to be a terrorist act, so legally he'll be prosecuted that way, even if public opinion doesn't follow suit.

I love my province of birth for many reasons, but dear Lord, the racism there is terrible. Sure, there's socio-historical reasons for Quebec's distrust of organized religion, but that doesn't fully explain the rampant xenophobia and islamophobia that's become so evident in the last decade. Right now I'm too tired to work out how to even begin to fix this situation. Maybe tomorrow will bring a little more clarity. One can always hope.

Huh. This turned into a small update after all. Look at that.
mousme: A text icon in pale blue that reads Winter is Coming (Winter is Coming)
 Nonetheless, I got stuff done today! Class let out very early, so I ended up going and doing some grocery shopping before I came home. It started snowing nearly 15 hours after the predicted time, but it's nonetheless snowing, and we're expecting anywhere from 10-15cm before the end of it. I've been checking outside the window, and the snow is falling much more sparsely than I would have thought. Maybe I won't have to shovel as much as I originally thought I would, which would be very nice indeed. I do like winter a lot, but I'm not a huge fan of shovelling snow.

Groceries aside, I've been trying to get some studying done today, since I got home so early. I've already done some revising of my Romanian lessons on Duolingo, and next up will be reading a bunch of documentation for tomorrow's class. I don't particularly feel like it, as the material is drier than the Sahara, but it's necessary nonetheless. The course itself is both very simple and rather difficult for me to understand: I think it assumes a basic level of knowledge that I simply don't possess, which is making it harder for me to follow. I'm hoping that going through extra course material tonight will give me a better grasp of the subject-matter.

I haven't said much on here about the political bullshit fest going on south of the border, not because I don't care, but because there's so much of it that it feels overwhelming to even scratch at the surface here on LJ. Suffice it to say that every time I open Twitter, it's to discover new lies from the Trump administration, or more examples of white people being terrible even when they "mean well." The reaction of white women in particular to the perfectly valid criticism from other members of the feminist movement (disabled women, trans women, native women, women of colour, etc.) is incredibly disheartening. It often feels like the message that's being sent is that anything is acceptable so long as cishet able-bodied white women aren't made to feel too uncomfortable.

There's been a lot of congratulatory back-patting about how the Women's March went off without a hint of violence (not exactly true, anyway), as if that's a virtue of the marchers and not a direct result of how white people are simply policed differently than people of colour. The police are reluctant to turn the pepper spray and rubber bullets on middle-class white moms, that's the long and the short of it. That's the only reason things didn't turn ugly. Women of colour have been at the forefront of the battles for justice forever, and white women have not returned the favour, only showing up when they themselves felt threatened. Like with a lot of these situations, I think it bothers me more because fifteen years ago I might have been one of these white women, but I was able to learn (and continue to learn, every time I fuck up), and it infuriates me when people just like me stick their fingers in their ears and refuse to listen. Surely white fragility can't be that hard to let go of? If I can refrain from shrieking about "not all white women," then surely all these other women can too? *hands*

Anyway, I have no good answer for any of it. I just know that my fellow white people and I are capable of doing better, and we need to try a lot damned harder to achieve it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have 100 pages or so of technical manuals to study. XD


mousme: A text icon in black text on yellow that reads The avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote (Avalanche)
I have insomnia tonight, for whatever reason. It's not anxiety, I just can't seem to sleep. I managed to sleep lightly from about 22:10 to 23:10, but then was awoken by a Dog Emergency™, and then couldn't get back to sleep to save my life. So I guess tomorrow will be managed on an hour of broken sleep. Super.

I don't have much to report, on the personal front. I got my errands done, except for one, which I totally forgot about and which I will try to get to after work tomorrow, since it's right next door. I even got *shudder* new clothes. I hate clothes shopping, which is probably not news to any of you. I also came in way under budget due to a surprise sale and my own birthday discount, so yay for that!

Therapy was interesting. We broached the subject of my former relationship, and the fallout from that. I'm still kind of bitter about how it all went down, but the feelings have faded over time. It'll be informative to explore that, I guess, and see if some of my current behaviours stem from what I "learned" from that experience.

In other news, the US has gone more insane than usual. My Twitter timeline has been alternating between President Obama's farewell speech, discussions of outright treason by the President-elect, and urination jokes. It's surreal.

In which I discuss Trump, so you can skip it if you're sick of hearing about him )

By contrast, the current President's final address was a fine example of statesmanship. I am a fan of Obama, it's true, though his policies lean too much to the right for me to be comfortable with them. Sure, he's to the left of Republicans, but there is no left-wing in America, as far as I can tell, apart from a minority who don't ever seem to be able to contend with the two big parties anyway. There's the extreme right and the moderate right, and the moderate right seems to have a better grasp of human rights than their opponents. I digress.

The speech moved a lot of people to tears. It was eloquent and promised hope, while underlining all the progress that was made over the past eight years. All my reservations aside, Obama did a lot to turn the US around after the disastrous eight years of the Bush administration. He delivered a touching tribute to his wife, and generally was a class act. It was a pleasure to watch.

It's now 02:00, and I have to be "up" in about two hours. I still don't think sleep is going to happen, but I might attempt a power nap or something. You never know.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (All Cylons)
I hadn't heard about the latest bullsh*t with LiveJournal, but I'm sticking around for now. I have a back-up under the same name at Dreamwidth, if it comes to that, but I've never liked DW as much, and LJ is where I have my permanent account and ten billion icons. The idea of losing that and more makes me a little sick to my stomach, to be honest.

I should probably go back up my creative writing journal, to be on the safe side. *sigh*

Like every other major change with LJ, though, I suspect this will end up being another tempest in a teapot, because I'm an optimist that way.
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)
Warning: contains harm to an animal done by another animal )

In other news, everyone is dying this year. Brian Bedford, Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Prince, Mohamed Ali, Gene Wilder, Florence Henderson, Anton Yelchin, John Glenn, Alan Thicke, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and now George Michael. I'm sure I've forgotten a bunch. Not to mention Carrie Fisher's massive heart attack, from which no one is sure she'll recover. Though if anyone can give 2016 the finger, it's our General.

Someone on Twitter summed up this year nicely:
Uncheerful thoughts about 2017 )On the plus side, so far Christmas has been kind to me. I've put up a tree, which the cats, weirdly, are ignoring entirely. Clearly, Christmas ornaments just aren't as interesting as live mice. It was a bit of an adventure, as first of all the place I went to no longer had any small trees, so I am now boasting an eight-foot tree, which I had to cut down a bit because my ceilings are not high enough to accommodate eight feet of tree plus a stand. I have a special stand that I bought years ago at Canadian Tire, which balances your tree by itself so that perpetually single people like me can put up a tree on their own. It still works well after all these years, and after being left outside for two years in the rain and the snow (because I'm a careless person, sometimes).

Second, I had trouble with the tree lights. I bought a second strand (because eight foot tree), and wound it first around the tree. I was talking to my mother on the phone, and accidentally unplugged the power supply while I was trying to light the strand. Oops. Then when I got her back on the line I dropped the phone again, so we decided to call it there rather than invite further problems.

That's when I discovered that my first strand had a neutral prong that was bigger than the hot prong (which is how most are made these days), while the new strand had equal sized prongs, which made them incompatible. No worries, I thought, I would simply switch them around and plus the new strand into the old strand instead of vice versa. No dice. The old strand only had half the lights working. Since these are LED strands, I don't think it's a question of one light being burnt out (the way they used to: I have memories of exasperatedly switching out one bulb after the other to determine which was the defective one, and sometimes it was two bulbs and then you were screwed), so I had to go out and get more strands. I got two to be on the safe side, so now I have a very lit tree. No complaints, tbh. I didn't even have to use the extension cord I got.

Still here

Nov. 10th, 2016 02:31 pm
mousme: A text icon in black text on yellow that reads The avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote (Avalanche)
I am having trouble processing what happened on November 8th. When I have my thoughts in order (if ever), I will be back to write about it.

Love to all of you. To my US friends, stay strong, and stay safe.
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. (Canadian Borg)
Well, Canada, you didn't exactly vote for change, but at least you didn't vote for the status quo. Many of my non-Canadian friends have congratulated me on having a Disney prince as a Prime Minister, which I think is hilarious. I have my hopes set to "cautious optimism," since the Liberals are basically a centre-right party who are slightly to the left of the Conservatives, so I don't expect any kind of radical change.

I just spent the last four days at a fan-centric convention (no stars, no special guests, just fangirls fangirling about what we love), and it was wonderful but totally exhausting. I spent 12 hours driving yesterday (8 with friends, 4 by myself), and I am paying for it today in very sore muscles and stiff tendons. I'm not looking forward to going to the gym in a little while. It was fantastic to get away and hang out with like-minded people for a few days, though. I have been very spoiled this year in terms of travel, I must say.

I have become a Busy Person, and I don't like it. I'm not sure how to fix that, because I genuinely enjoy my extracurricular activities, and all my errands need to be run, but I still need to fix it because I have spent nearly two months without any alone time. As an introvert, this is making me a little crazy. It's not like I have all that many extracurriculars, either: I have the soup kitchen on Mondays, and Meeting for Worship on Sundays, and that's pretty much the only regularly scheduled stuff I have. It's not like I can suddenly stop grocery shopping or going to doctor's appointments. What has really started eating into my time is my return to my local gym, which, while good for me, doesn't (to me) count as down time. I am working with one of the trainers, and she only ever seems available in the middle of the day, which tends to put a crimp in any other plans I'd want to make otherwise. Anyway, I'll have to give it some thought, and see what I can do. I don't enjoy worshipping at the altar of busyness. It's a social sickness that needs to be eradicated.

The adoption process is going along at a moderate clip so far. I finished my PRIDE training a couple of weeks ago, and had my first home visit around the same time. It was actually a lot less invasive than I had anticipated. I thought for sure that my assessor would poke into every nook and cranny in my home, and so I dutifully tidied the whole house so that it would be as "child-safe" as possible, but she barely glanced into each every room, and pointed out a couple of things I'd need to do to conform to safety standards. So far, so good. My next "home" visit is actually an interview at the Ottawa CAS, and takes place on Thursday. During this bit we're apparently going to detail my own personal history from Day 0 all the way to today. Holy hell, Batman. It will be interesting, to say the very least. I understand why we have to do it, but I think I should invest in some lozenges. I foresee a lot of talking. I still have two classes to take: one on Openness in Adoption, and the other on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. After that, if I'm approved, it's all a waiting game. CAS has a child-centric approach, so what they do is look at the current children in care and determine which families would be a good match for them. So even if there are lots of children in care, that doesn't mean that I would be the right parent for them. Adopting could take a few weeks, or it could take a few years.

Tomorrow I'll be interviewing for a potential promotion at work. The other candidates are all very strong, and all of them have interviewed before (I have not), so I'm not holding out much hope that I'll get the position. That being said, I do interview very well, so I refuse to despair, either. I will prepare as best I can, and that will have to suffice. The promotion would be nice, though, as it comes with a pay increase, too. I'm not hurting for money, but I'm trying to get rid of some consumer debt, and a bit of extra income would go a long way to fixing that.

I've also got a doctor's appointment on Thursday. Partly it's to get a form filled out for Ottawa CAS, so that they can make sure I'm not about to keel over and leave any prospective children orphaned, and partly I want to get my shoulder checked, as I seem to have mysteriously injured it, and it's not getting any better after several weeks.

So there you have it. My life isn't very exciting, but I thought I would update anyway. How is everyone else? How's kicks?
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Politics)
I haven't thought of a good title for this post yet. With any luck one will come to me before I have to hit "post" at the end. I don't think I've ever posted an untitled entry here, though doubtless many of my titles have been unimaginative or along the lines of "I can't think of a title." The more things change, I guess...

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

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

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

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

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

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

*throws up hands*

Bah.

Politics make me hate everything.

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

IMG_2795
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Politics)
After watching the presidential debate last night:

Dan ‏@queerly_it_is
It would have saved time had Romney just put on a golden horned helmet and started talking about the great lie of freedom, tbh.

11h Daphne ‏@ratherastory
@queerly_it_is "I COME BURDENED WITH GLORIOUS TAX RETURNS!"

11h Dan ‏@queerly_it_is
@ratherastory "THIS IS MY EDUCATION REFORM YOU MEWLING QUIM."

11h Daphne ‏@ratherastory
@queerly_it_is "YOU WERE MADE TO BE RULED!"

11h Dan ‏@queerly_it_is
@ratherastory "IN THE END, YOU WILL ALWAYS BE IN FAVOR OF MORE MILITARY SPENDING."

11h Daphne ‏@ratherastory
@queerly_it_is "MEDICARE IS BASE SENTIMENTALITY!"

11h Dan ‏@queerly_it_is
@ratherastory "IT'S AN IMPRESSIVE POLICY. BUT NOT BUILT, I THINK, FOR A STABLE ECONOMY."

11h Daphne ‏@ratherastory
@queerly_it_is "Please tell me you're going to appeal to my humanity."
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Politics)
1- Election is over. Dear rest of the world, don't worry, this was not, as your news outlets keep saying, "a decisive victory for the nationalists." It's a minority government, and the popular vote was split three ways equally among the main contenders. At best, it's a rejection of the status quo, of a government which was becoming weighted down by scandals and a spectacularly mismanaged student strike.

Carry on, the world is not ending. I predict another election in 18 months or less.

2- Work has ben insane. Last week was a 72-hour week and I am still trying to recover. *falls over*

3- The house is a disaster, mostly due to point 2. I am slowly working on this, but it's been a bit of a slog. I've been cooking & freezing my meals, but it's a big undertaking and doesn't exactly help with keeping things tidy. Plus, because I'm so tired it means everything is taking twice as long to accomplish.

4- Paying extra close attention to my finances is paying off. I'm not rolling in money, but everything is getting handled, slowly but surely. If all goes well, I'll be out of the immediate woods in about 6 months. So, yay for that.

5- The cats and dog are doing well, too, for those of you who were wondering. They pine for the days when I was on vacation, though, and stare at me mournfully whenever I leave for work. ;)

Go vote!

May. 2nd, 2011 07:11 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. (Politics)
Dear Canadian flisters,

Today is election day. Don't forget to go do the civic thing and cast your ballot! Remember: you don't vote, you don't get to complain about the government you get afterward. :)

mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Politics)
[livejournal.com profile] irishyogini has posted this information about proposed gun legislation (Blair-Holt) in the U.S.

Makes the CFRO look positively civilized, don't you think?

Food for thought, whether you're a raging Libertarian or in favour of gun control. Seems awfully over-the-top to me, but then I haven't taken a close look at it yet. I trust [livejournal.com profile] irishyogini when she says it doesn't look like a hoax, but will be doing some fact-checking of my own when I'm not running out the door to work.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Candle)
I was ten years old during the events at Tiananmen Square. I was just starting to understand that there was a much bigger, wider world out there than my little corner of it, and that Very Bad Things sometimes happened there.



In the late summer/early fall of that year, a young Chinese art student named Shui Bo Wang came to live next door with my godparents. No one told me for some time that he had come because of recent events, assuming I knew, but eventually I figured it out on my own.

When Sunrise Over Tiananmen Square came out, I watched it with tears in my eyes.

I am godmother to his eldest daughter, now ten years old, although I have mostly fallen out of touch with the family except for sporadic contact a few times a year. Still, every year at least on this one day I am reminded of one story among hundreds and thousands, which brings it all home.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (This version of the universe)
I got my hair cut. My hairdresser clucked over me and expressed her astonishment that my hair hadn't grown back more in the last five months. She then did a great job cutting my hair, and true to form wrecked the effect by putting in more product than an eighties metal band. Good thing it washes out.

I am TIRED of being at work, and can't wait until Monday. My supervisor sent me a snippy email: apparently I forgot to fill one of the printers during shift changeover. Oops. Still, not worth giving me a dressing-down, no matter how mild.

Another supervisor has sent me a metric assload of work, oh and could he have it by yesterday, please? Uh, no. I will do it when I have time. Probably this weekend.

The guy on loan from Ontario, while very nice and a quick learner, is not good to work with. He's so afraid of doing something wrong that he doesn't do ANYTHING. He won't touch the phone when it rings, which is the only thing I've asked him to do. So I've been doing ALL the work all week. It's not been that busy (except the past two days), so it's not so bad, but I'm not accustomed to having no backup at all.

He also chose last night to delve into what everyone in an office wants to talk about: politics. Oh, joy. I could go on at length, but I can sum it up thusly: he's a LOT more right-wing than I am, thinks the United States is the cat's meow ("They go in to defend democracy when no one else will!"), that there is no such thing as peak oil, that even if peak oil does exist, technological advancement will save us, and that Canada made the worst mistake ever when we started allowing immigrants in without quotas and sponsors and the like. Oh, and of course, socialized medicine is bad.

*headdesk*


Save me.

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