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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Aug. 26th, 2016 03:33 pm
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Dream the World)
I don't have a specific topic for this entry, just general catching up and making plans —most of which will never come to fruition, knowing me, but it's nice to dream. It's what my mother calls "building castles in Spain." I seem to recall that has a historical origin somewhere... hang on, I'm going to go look it up. Okay, I'm back (not that you can tell in textual form that I was gone), and the internet was mostly unhelpful, but it seems to stem from Charlemagne's abortive attempt at conquering Spain. So, there you go.

Feel-good therapy )

Projects and stuff )

Oh, and before I forget, I saw Ghostbusters last weekend with [livejournal.com profile] toughlovemuse and [livejournal.com profile] owldaughter, and it was amaaaaaaaaazeballs! I can't emphasize how much I enjoyed that movie. It did have some problems, but overall it was fun and engaging, and the women were all fantastic, and there was not one single fat joke in the whole movie! I was sort of bracing for impact on the latter, because of Melissa McCarthy. She's a fat woman in Hollywood, and the price of admission for that is to constantly have to make jokes at your own expense about your weight. I understand that that's how it works, but it doesn't mean I have to enjoy fat jokes. There were none, not even jokes about food apart from a running gag about wonton soup having a bad soup-to-wonton ratio. It was glorious. I have also joined the legions of fans who are super in love with Jillian Holtzmann. She has the most bad-ass fight sequence in the movie:

I mean, HOT DAMN.

She's weirdly not my favourite character, but she's definitely the character I'd want to hang out with/possibly take on a date. She's arguably the most brilliant/mad scientist of all the women, and she is entirely glorious.

If you haven't seen this movie, you should definitely go watch it (unless you are not into this sort of movie at all, in which case you probably won't like it).
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (White People)
I've been going out on Pokéwalks again, which has been both a challenge and very nice. I'm not particularly physically active these days, and the less active I am, the less inclined I am to be active. It also means that when I get out there, my body doesn't respond the way I want it to (because I've lost all the muscle and endurance I built up years ago), and I get discouraged all over again. It's a vicious cycle.

So I've been trying to prod myself out the door for Pokémon, at least. I stopped for nearly ten days, but picked it up again after last weekend, which I spent with [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave wandering about, collecting Pokémon and exploring the adorable little town he lives in. I'm very jealous of his town, for the record. He essentially lives in Eureka, full of scientists and lovely houses, surrounded by the Canadian countryside in its full Group of Seven glory. If I win the lottery, I am moving there.

I've been getting out more, and trying to work through my feelings of frustration at not being able to walk as far or as fast as I used to. One one of my jaunts with [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave I caught a Pikachu, which was very rewarding (I'd not seen one out in the wild before), as well as a couple of other new Pokémon. Then during my walks this week I hatched a few new Pokémon as well, so I'm feeling accomplished. My new goal is to collect a bunch of common Pokémon and use them (and a lucky egg) to grind for XP a bit. I've fallen behind due to letting the game lapse for so long, and as a result I'm 10-13 levels behind the local players, which makes doing things in the Pokémon gyms incredibly difficult, if not nearly impossible. So the plan is to try to level up, so as to level the playing field a bit (pun totally intended).

The poor dog was so excited to go for a walk with me today, but after an hour in the heat he'd changed his tune considerably. It went from "Oh boy, we're going for a walk! Come on, come on, let's go! I don't want to wait for you to lock the door!" to "Fuck you and the Pokémon you rode in on!" pretty quickly. XD

Of course, when I don't take him with me, I get a look like this:

Poor dog. Life is hard. :)

I had a meeting with Health Services at work yesterday. They concluded that I'm doing all the right things to get back to work, so yay, I guess? Their main purpose in life is to determine my fitness to work and get me back in the saddle ASAP, so I guess I presented well enough to satisfy them. I'm already seeing a therapist, I'm waiting for a psychiatrist appointment, and I'm getting out and about as I can. They asked me if there was anything they could do to help, so I asked them if they could fix our staffing shortage at work. :P Not surprisingly, that's outside the scope of their abilities. Alas.

I'm seeing my doctor again on August 31st, and I assume she'll be getting me back to work by then. It'll be a gradual return, but I can't stay off work indefinitely, no matter how nice not having to worry about things there is. I have to earn my place in the world, after all.
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. (Postmodern)
I am too easily distracted, it seems. I keep remembering to post LiveJournal when I'm away from the computer, and then forgetting when I'm finally at the computer.

Things are chugging along at Casa Phnee.

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

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

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

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

The plan this week is, once I'm done with work, to take two days to do not much and just get some much-needed sleep. I will take Sergent for some extra-long walks, and spend more time than usual in the community garden. On Saturday I have a date in Montreal with my friends [livejournal.com profile] toughlovemuse and [livejournal.com profile] owldaughter to finally see Captain America: Civil War (where I will probably cry over Steve and Bucky a lot), Starting next Monday and going until the Friday, the plan is to use my free time to declutter the house. Only time will tell if I actually follow said plan, because I am usually terrible at this kind of follow through.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Sisyphus)
Three entries in a week! This one is going to be short, but since tonight is Critical Role night, I don't feel bad about it, because I plan to come back with a longer post yelling at all of you about how AWESOME Critical Role is. No, I mean it, there will be yelling/capslocking, and general squeeing. You have been warned!

For those of you who are new to these parts, I must explain that, as much as I would like it to be otherwise, I basically have no chill. So whenever I come across something new that I like, I tend to throw myself into it unreservedly, and yell about it excitedly for quite a long time. (I should probably tag for that. LJ tags, so useful.) It will be easier to post about from home (I am on the stand-alone internet station at work), since I actually went out of my way to find fun gifs of the show, which I never do. You know I have to feel strongly about something if I did that. ;)

Anyway, I have to leave you hanging, because today is shaping up to be a busy day at work. I've been training a newbie since March, and we have another newbie coming in today. I told my boss last week that I couldn't train two newbies at once (my current newbie is... having trouble learning the ropes, alas, and needs a lot of supervision), and he agreed. So naturally yesterday he introduced me to the latest newbie and then was, like, "Okay, I have to go to a meeting, so I'm leaving him in your hands!"


I feel like I should have seen this coming. The newest guy was only supposed to start next week, but here he was, a full week early, being dumped in my lap. I had nothing ready for training purposes, and my other newbie made a pretty big mistake (while I was distracted) which took a long time to fix, and I'm pretty sure I didn't keep all my plates spinning properly yesterday. We'll find out today how much broken crockery I'll need to pick up, I guess. I'm still going to be training both of them today, but at least this time I've had a chance to prepare some material the newest guy can work on while I'm training the other girl.

Time to start pushing that boulder back up the hill. Tonight, a more joyous post about Critical Role!
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)
November has arrived again, with its customary dip in my energy levels. I'm experimenting with being off Facebook and Twitter again, after a successful one-month hiatus in May. This time I'm not enjoying it as much. I took a break in May because those platforms were making me a little crazy, but right now I'm finding that I feel more isolated from my friends and community than anything else. Maybe November isn't a good time of year for introspection. At least in May it's sunny and the days are longer.

Apart from that, my news is mostly good. I got the promotion I applied for, despite the fact that I thought I was by far the least likely of the candidates to get it. Apparently I got a bit lucky. There were four of us applying for two positions. The girl I thought was most qualified got one of the positions. Two guys also applied from outside our section, but one of them withdrew without my knowing, and the other one, by all accounts, had a bad day when he interviewed. He'd applied before and been passed over in favour of a more qualified applicant, and it seems that he came to this new interview with something of a surly attitude as a result. My boss told me that it had showed that I'd come prepared, and that I had done really well, so no one on the interview panel doubted for a moment that I should get one of the two open positions.

So, in short, promotion! YAY! Also, in related good news, fully 75% of the supervisor positions in my section are now staffed by women. Go us! The three of us also get along like a house on fire, so it's going to be so much fun to work with them. I'm excited. :)

I'm also going to be spending the next four weeks training to perform a completely new set of functions at work, unrelated to my new supervisory role. Well, sort of related, but I would have had to learn them anyway, regardless of the outcome of the promotion process. That means four week of an almost bourgeois schedule of working 06:00 to 14:00, Monday to Friday. It will be very interesting to see if I can deal with working five days in a row with only the weekend in between for four weeks. I've been working shifts for eight years now, it feels weird to be going back to a "regular" work day, however briefly.

By the way, we are horrifically short-staffed at my office, and we will likely soon be opening up new jobs (again). If you or anyone you know is a Canadian citizen with a high school education or higher, good computer skills, and a more than basic grasp of French (you need to be functional but not fluent), and you want to come work for some great bosses (myself included, now!), drop me a line! I will send you the application information the moment the jobs open again. :)

I've also been nominated to become the Clerk for the First Day School of the local Quaker Meeting. It sounds more glamorous than it is. ;) Basically it just means I'd be responsible for herding the cats in order to keep FDS running smoothly. First Day School is the kids' program at Meeting, a bit like Sunday School, only a lot less formal. There's singing and crafts and occasionally lessons about what it means to be a Quaker/Friend. Honestly, I'm still learning myself how to be a Quaker, so I feel ill-equipped to be the Clerk, but most of the FDS Committee have been there for years, and they're all burnt out. So I've agreed to take the helm, and two of them will be mentoring me until I get the hang of it.

Technically I'm still an Attender at the Meeting, not an official member. I've started doing some reading to become more informed, and the more I learn the less I feel I know. I think that's sort of normal, at least at first. I don't want to ask to become a Member before I feel like I know what I'm doing. The Religious Society of Friends has had a long and rich written tradition, letters and essays and diaries, and there is a lot of history to go through. I basically know absolutely nothing of the complexity and nuance of thinking that evolved over the centuries to bring the Quakers to where they are today. So, that's one of my current projects right now.

The adoption project has slowed to a crawl while we sort out paperwork. I need to get a police check done to prove that I have no criminal record (yes, you may all laugh now) and no history of abuse toward children or anyone or anything else (go on, laugh harder). Also, even though I've been stable and not medicated for nine years, they want my former psychiatrist to sign off on my mental health. So I've been jumping through hoops trying to get him to answer his damned phone. He's moved to a private practice, and I've already left messages several times. His secretary assures me he'll call back "when he gets the chance," but it's been three weeks, so I'm a little irked. I realise I'm not a current or paying client, but sheesh. Once all those papers are in order, I'll find out whether or not I've been accepted as a potential candidate. If I'm accepted, things will proceed as they are right now. If not, I am toying with a Plan B, which I will explore more in depth if needs be. I'm not thinking about it too much right now, as it involves a pretty drastic life change, which won't happen at all if I end up on the waiting list for kids.

In the interim, I've been spending my free time returning to the gym, playing video games on the computer, and watching probably way too much TV for my own good, even though I've become even pickier about what shows I like to watch. The trouble is that, even if I'm picky, there's still a lot of enjoyable programs available, especially once you have both cable and Netflix. Yes, I caved and got cable, because my DSL internet provider, despite promising speeds of "up to" 30 Mbps, never delivered anything above 300 Kbps, and it was rather frustrating to pay for a service I wasn't getting. So I coughed up extra money for much better internet, and got a land line and cable TV out of the deal, too, which really isn't half bad.

The rest of tonight's plans involve sacking out on the sofa with the cats, the dog at my feet, and the latest episode of Sleepy Hollow (or maybe Elementary, I haven't decided yet). Then it will be bedtime. In fact, it will be past bedtime, as I am now old and boring and am usually in bed by 21:00 these days. Kids, lawn, etc.

How's everyone else in LJ land doing? Let me 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. (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. (Delusions of Grandeur)
I don't think I could possibly catch up on everything that's happened since I last posted here, so I won't even try. That being said, there's stuff coming up that I may want to blog about in more depth, so making a bit of an effort now is in order.

First off, hi LJ Land! I haven't been posting, but I do read everything you write. <3

Anyway, have a bullet-point version of the past few months:

  • I adopted three new cats in February. It was meant to be two, but then [livejournal.com profile] fearsclave was forced to rehome his kitties due to health concerns, and so I got his Maggie as well. Alas, one of the other two cats I got is not integrating into the household, so he will be vacating the premises and going to live with good friends of mine. So far all the cats mostly get along, with some spats and negotiating of territory still happening. Things are settling down slowly but surely.

  • I am still volunteering in the soup kitchen at Shepherd's (I won't use the full name, because I don't want their media relations people reading all my posts), and have also started volunteering one day a week at their community garden plot, helping to grow and harvest vegetables for the soup kitchen. I still love it, although the work is often physically very demanding.

  • I went on a trip to Barcelona with my parents in March, which was far too short but truly wonderful. I posted lots of pictures on Facebook, so anyone following me there probably saw them.

  • The work restructuring continues apace. It is, as I suspected, a PITA, and has resulted in a lot more work being given to much fewer people. Those people are also the ones who are paid the least, not surprisingly. It appears every workplace is the same when it comes to penny pinching: the higher up you are, the less you feel the pinch.

  • I also managed to escape to PEI for a while this summer, also with my parents. I've joked with them that we've seen more of each other since I moved to Ottawa than in the past five years I lived in Montreal combined. That's not quite true, but they have been making extra efforts to come out and see me (and vice versa!) since I moved.

  • The past two years of commuting to and from work in Ottawa, as well as trying to run two households on one income, paying for private daycare, and then renovating the house in order to sell it, all took a pretty serious financial toll on me. The short, ugly version is that I accumulated a fair bit of debt in order to do that. So I've been tightening my belt (the two trips notwithstanding, although in both cases my parents were generous enough to pay for almost everything) and looking for extra sources of income. I'm currently trying my hand at being a mystery shopper. It doesn't bring in a fortune, and it's not super great work for someone with anxiety, but I'm hoping it will at least offset some of my monthly bills. Every little bit helps, right? I also need to get my act together and try to sell some of the "extra" furniture that doesn't fit in my new, smaller house.

  • In happier, not debt-filled news, I have been approved by the Ottawa Children's Aid Society to continue with PRIDE training (Parental Resources for Information, Development, and Education) as well as a home study. The training starts on September 9th, and if all goes well I should be done with everything by the end of October. If I'm approved as a prospective adoptive parents after that, then I get to start the waiting game of being matched up with a child (or maybe children!) in need of a permanent home.

So that's me in a nutshell. I may be using this space to talk about the PRIDE training in September and October, so apologies in advance to everyone who finds that sort of stuff super boring. I promise to put it behind a cut if it gets overly long. :)

I know lots of you have been having a really rough year. I hope you're all keeping as well as possible under the circumstances. *hugs all around*
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Lock The Universe)
I have finally hit that wall I was afraid I would hit earlier last week. So most of my energy has gone into getting the dog to and from the vet, running errands, doing some minimal cleaning and laundry in the house, commuting, work, more errands, and a bit of personal writing that is not going to go on LJ ever.

Alas, that means that my actual LJ posts have suffered over the last week, and for this I am sorry. I will simply carry over the project into July and finish off the topics in order.

I have had my arm twisted into going to see the Sunset Ceremonies tonight. I don't really want to go, especially as I won't know anyone there, but it's honestly easier to go than to deal with the person in question's constant badgering and demanding to know <i>why</i> I'd rather spend time quietly in my room than go out in the midst of hundreds of people to see the RCMP Musical Ride. The guy means well, but right now I want to punch him in the face a lot. I don't think an hour has gone by since we started working together yesterday that he hasn't come to ask me about it. Am I going tonight? What about tomorrow? What route will I be taking? Do I want him to show me the best route home on Google Maps? Oh, and don't try to leave right away, you have to go see the stables. Etc.



I'm sure it will be lovely. I've never seen the musical ride, so at least now I'll be able to say that I've seen it.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Bad for Zathras)
I didn't have time for the pet post today, so you'll have to settle for a Real Life Stuff kind of post for now.

Tonight is my last shift here in Moncton. It's been a very exciting thirteen days, but I'm looking forward to getting home. They actually are asking for some people to stay on until July 4th, but even if I wasn't done my own unit needs me back. Besides, I have renovations to organise and the dog to take to the vet, and plenty of things that simply aren't getting done while I'm not there.

Sometimes yesterday morning I must have slept funny, because I have hurt my neck in a pretty serious way. It's not as bad as in 2009 when I had to be medicated to the gills to even be functional (I couldn't lie down or do anything other than keep my back ramrod straight because even tensing my neck muscles ever so slightly was excruciating), but it's pretty painful nonetheless. I couldn't find a position to sleep in that didn't pull on muscles in a bad way.

Our visit to the Hopewell Rocks was cancelled due to my coworkers being wet blankets who didn't want to get up three hours early to drive out there and back. Boo. Then again, seeing how much pain I'm in, perhaps it's just as well. I am sad I won't get to see them, though. I guess I'll just have to come back to New Brunswick some other time and see them then!

The shift supervisor of the operators who were on duty the night of the shooting took us out tonight for a tour of Moncton and then for a lobster dinner! It was delicious, but very rushed because the tour took longer than expected. I had to take half of my lobster to go. Still, it means that I have a lobster snack waitin for me later tonight!

Friday night is always busy around here, so it's actually taken me about three hours to write this entry so far. Compared to the quiet nights we had earlier this week, we've had a fair bit of action tonight. Nothing too terrible, no lives truly in danger (which is good!), but someone lit his food on fire (accidentally, this was not meant to be a flambé) in a big apartment building, so that kept us busy for a while.

Okay, make that four hours to write this entry. Eesh. Lots of stuff happening. Lots of custody disputes tonight, and one little kid. "My mom and her boyfriend are fighting and yelling and throwing stuff at each other." Super calm, too. You could tell it wasn't the kid's first time calling. :(

The regular operators are going to start coming back gradually as of tomorrow, so things should slowly get back to normal here. I think everyone is going to heave a collective sigh of relief as life goes on in the wake of the tragedy.

*checks clock* *sighs* Still not time for more Robaxacet. It's the only thing keeping me functional tonight. That and the Aleve I took around 16:00. I accidentally took two of those at the time, not realising I'm only allowed two a day (one every two hours), so I guess I'm stuck for the moment.

So that's the news for now. In 24 hours I'll be on a plane heading for Ottawa, and from there I'll be driving home in the morning. Good times. I'm going to miss all the people I met here, but it'll be good to get back.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Fizzgig)
Well, it's been 8 straight shifts, and now I'm tired. It's been 96 hours. Three more shifts to go, for another 36 hours of work. I slept right through my alarm today, too. It's a miracle I woke up on time. I have time to slip in this LJ entry now, and if work is quiet I might have more time to write when I get there (Wednesday nights are not usually that busy, but you never know!).

I'm going to stop apologising for being late on all my June topics, because you're probably tired of that particular broken record by now. For the moment I'm going to run to get dressed and get ready for work, and hope for the best.

I just woke up to two messages from the people meant to install the fence. Suddenly there are apparently trees in the way, and they can't install the fence, oh noes! Fucking hell. Of course I am 1,000km away and working nights, so even though I returned their calls I won't be able to do a damned thing about it from here. For the record, there are no trees where I want the fence. I walked around the yard with the guy from the company, showed him everything, and he smiled and nodded and told me it wouldn't be a problem. He asked if they could cut some of the lilac branches on one of the bushes, and I gave him the go-ahead on that. I have no idea what the problem is, and of course no one is answering their phones now, even though when I called it was 16:00 local time. Fuck everything.

In more pleasant news, the local crew of operators is taking us out Friday afternoon for a sight-seeing tour of a local natural wonder called the Hopewell Rocks. We won't be able to take advantage of it for too long, since we have to work before and after, and we need to squeeze in some sleep in that time too, but I for one am really looking forward to something to break up the pattern of work-sleep-work-sleep. Of course, I'll be completely exhausted. Fried toast will look chipper compared to me, since Friday night is my last shift and is generally the busiest night of the year. At least it won't be the full moon or Friday the 13th like last week. ;)

Then Saturday my "late" hotel check-out is at 14:00, which means very little sleep again. Good times. It's not like I'll be able to sleep in when I get home, either, because there will be a million things to do. Even if I stay in Ottawa overnight (I'm supposed to be getting in around 01:00 or so), I'll still have to get up early so I can drive to Montreal afterward. The paving slab project in the yard will have to be finished, then the fence and the basement renos... so basically I'll have four days of non-stop work to do at home before I go back to Ottawa and start my regular job again.

*resists the impulse to curl into a ball*
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Death by shinies!)
I owe [livejournal.com profile] miseri two consecutive posts. If I can kick myself out of bed in time to do it before work this evening, that's when it'll happen. Especially since I'll have to think long and hard about the post on Brideshead Revisited, as I haven't read the book in about twenty years. Yikes.

I've worked six twelve-hour night shifts in a row, and the fatigue is starting to show. The new crew are great, though, and we're having a blast together. I miss the new friends I made last week, but it's been lovely to see old familiar faces from Montreal (two operators from there are working with me now) and meet a couple of new people from Alberta and Manitoba, too.

Work has finally given me a car for my own use, which is really nice. Before I had to walk to another hotel in order to hitch a lift with the night crew to the comm centre, but since the old crew all left the day before yesterday, work had to give me the use of a car or else I'd be stranded at my hotel. The comm centre is close, but not really close enough to walk. The car is an orange Dodge Lancer, and it's like driving a luxuriously-appointed sofa. If I weren't staring at the road, I would swear I was sitting in my living room.

I have five more nights shifts ahead of me, after which I shall be returning super, super late on Saturday night. Technically I think it will be Sunday morning when I return. So I'm going to sleep in Ottawa overnight and drive back to Montreal on the Sunday, and then spend four and a half well-deserved days off there before going back to my regular job. I think it will be hard to get back into the routine in Ottawa, since things have been pretty exciting here. While my new job is great and I love the people, I do miss the actual dispatching aspect of my old job, and working 911 is even better as far as I'm concerned.

Mind you, I'm scheduled to work overtime at the OCC in Ottawa in mid-July too, so I'll at least get to do some federal dispatching while I'm there. It's not quite 911, but it's operational, so that's something.

Even though this is proving to be a really awesome experience, tragic circumstances aside, I'll be happy to get home. I have a to-do list as long as my arm to get done if I want to sell the house, and while I've been trying to coordinate things from here in Moncton, there are lots of things that I simply can't do over the phone, no matter how much I want to.

Also, I missed Fathers' Day, so I promised my parents I'd go out and see them for dinner on Wednesday, when they will be back from their own short trip to New York.

On that note, bedtime. I will be making a herculean effort to be up early in order to write and run a couple of very overdue errands this afternoon.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (No Response)
The June 14th post is in the works. The lovely and talented [livejournal.com profile] curtana gave me a huge topic to discuss, and I quite simply don't have enough time to finish writing it before I leave for work tonight. If all goes well, I will have it finished by tomorrow.

Work has become busier now that it's the weekend. It's not really surprising, because the weekend is prime 911 time. People go out and drink, they drive late at night, they let their hair down and make very poor life choices and then need someone to come fix said poor life choices. ;)

My favourite call from last night was this one.

Me: "Nine-one-one, neuf-un-un, what is your emergency, quelle est votre urgence?"

Female caller: "Um, yeah, we kind of need... DNR, I guess? There's a bear on my deck!" (DNR are the local animal/wildlife wranglers)

Me: O_O "Okay, let me take down your information and we'll get someone there as soon as possible. Is everyone safe inside? No one outside with the bear?"

Caller: "My son was outside, but I got him in. The bear's off the deck, but he's still poking around in the yard. Oh, no, here he comes again!"

So, yeah. Bears.

We also had innumerable drunk people passed out in the street, being nuisances in bars, yelling and banging on the wrong doors, harassing other people, etc. One guy called around 4:00 three sheets to the wind, said he was lost and asked the police to give him a ride home. Protip: the police are actually out there dealing with emergencies. Take a cab.

There were four fires of varying sizes, three falls from balconies, two headers down the stairs, two possible b&e's, one missing kid, one child who fell off a high ledge, five elderly people with varying levels of medical distress, about seven serious motor vehicle collisions and twice as many minor ones, five domestic disturbances, three times that many neighbour disputes, and five reports of "gunshots." The list goes on.

At the end of the night two of the operators who are a bit more accustomed to 911 turned to each other, grinned, and said: "Hey, that wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be!"

*falls over and dies*

Tonight isn't a full moon, but it's Saturday, so I expect it will still be pretty busy. At least by my standards. I've been working the 911 lines all week, but tonight they're going to train me on dispatch, because the two operators who've been dispatching the whole time will be leaving Monday, which will leave me with a group of newbies, basically. So I'll have to step up and do dispatch, which is the more complex of the tasks. I confess I'm still worried about doing fire dispatch, even though I know intellectually that it's not much different from police dispatch. I guess it's because I've done police dispatch before, and I know the guys, whereas I'm nervous about actually having to set off the giant alarm in the various fire stations (no, really, that's exactly what happens: a giant siren goes off to alert them there's a fire/first responder situation).

So that's the news for tonight. More tomorrow, most likely. See you later, LJ!
mousme: A text icon, white text on green, that reads Zathras trained in crisis management (Crisis Management)
I am up a little earlier than usual. I must have been tired yesterday, because the hotel didn't seem as loud then. Today, however, I have been awoken by the sound of KNOCK-KNOCK-KNOCK "HOUSEKEEPING!" on what sounds like every single door on my floor except for mine. They are being nice and professional and respecting my "Do Not Disturb" sign, but the walls here are apparently paper-thin. I can hear everything going on in the other rooms (though it's muffled) and everything that goes on in the hallways as though the people there are standing in my room. It's making sleep somewhat of a challenge.

On the plus side, it means I was able to get up earlier than usual and try to catch up on my LJ posts.

Today is Friday the 13th. It's also a full moon, and it happens to be Prom Night here in Moncton. Oh, and did I mention Mercury is retrograde? /o\ I am not usually a superstitious person, but for some reason these factors really do seem to affect the type and the volume of calls that we get at work. So now that I'll be working 911 tonight, it's going to be a gong show.

In theory I am supposed to come home on Monday, but last night there was talk of extending my stay by a week, supposing I am deemed "releasable" from my post in Ottawa. Knowing my boss and my boss' boss, they likely won't say no unless they're really short-staffed. So that will mean a bit of mad scrambling to get everything done at home long-distance. I don't mind doing my part, of course. Not in the slightest. It's just making everything a little bit harder to manage.

In all the mad rush to get to Moncton, I forgot I had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday. I got awoken by them ringing my cell phone to let me know that "just this once" they wouldn't charge me for not showing up. I explained that I was RCMP and that I'd been deployed to Moncton very last-minute, and apologised for the inconvenience.

"Normally we only accept cancellations if there's an emergency," the receptionist said, in the snottiest tone possible. "But Dr. C. said we'd make an exception for you."

I boggled. "It was an emergency," I pointed out. "Three men died."

"Fine. Do you want to book a new appointment now?"

"I'll have to call you back when I know my schedule."

Yeah. I was nonplussed. It was definitely my fault for not calling 24 hours ahead, but I am used to a little bit more civility from people, especially on this subject.

All right. Looking at the clock, I should have time for at least one of my June Writing posts. With any luck I'll be able to write them both today.
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (Rainbow Socks)
It turns out I was wrong about Danny's future. Danny is still young, with less than a year in service, so he's going to continue to work. The RCMP news release had the following to say:

The RCMP in New Brunswick has received a high number of requests from media and the public via social media and in person about the future of Cst. Dave Ross's police service dog, Danny.

Cst. Ross became involved with the RCMP Police Dog Service Training Centre in Innisfail, Alberta in 2008. Dave began working with Danny on December 4, 2012. The two began formal training on April 22, 2013, and graduated from the Police Dog Service Training Centre on August 30, 2013, giving Danny less than a year of service when he tragically lost his partner.

"Anytime Danny barked at home, it would be to get Dave to open the truck door so they could go to work," Cst. Ross' wife, Rachael Ross said. "It wouldn't be fair to Danny to retire him as he loved his work as much as Dave did." While Danny too is grieving for his handler, he will have the opportunity to continue on to a rewarding career. While it is unusual for a police service dog to change handlers, it has happened a few times when a handler left the program, or retired.

When a handler in need of a police service dog is identified, the process to re-team Danny will begin. Danny will go through a bonding period with his new handler, after which he will return to Innisfail for a three-week period to confirm the new team meets the standards established by the RCMP.

Danny is trained to work. Danny's bond with Dave will always be there. If not for Dave recognizing Danny's skills, he would never have had the opportunity to serve Canadians, something he will continue to do with pride and dedication.

Dave and Danny
mousme: An RCMP officer in ceremonial uniform swinging around a horizontal bar. (Maintain the Right)
My icon feels a little too happy for what's happening, but it's my only RCMP icon, so there you go.

The first night at work went as well as could be expected. Working 911 is a bit like riding a bicycle, luckily enough. I made mistakes, of course, but all of them were of an administrative nature rather than operational, and so no one cares. I'm back to square one when it comes to understanding the French accent here. OMG, how does anyone understand anything the Acadians say, ever? *headdesk* Still, we're managing well enough thus far.

The outpouring of both grief and support here has been overwhelming. The operators are all doing our best to get the members through these few days. So many officers breaking down in tears because they've lost their friend, their co-worker, their troop mate from when they first became RCMP officers. One of the operators had to go help an officer who was so overwrought that he couldn't bring himself to put on his "red serge" for the funeral. We didn't escape unscathed either. All night the various news stations showed clips of the funeral service on loop, and not a single one of us remained dry-eyed during the night. I had to start looking away from the screen so I'd be able to answer calls without my voice breaking.

We do a lot of handholding in our job sometimes, and while we're happy to do it, it's at times like these that it's incredibly hard to keep your own cool.

The reverse of that coin is that the whole of Moncton and Canada has come together to help us. There were several charter flights with Air Canada to bring members here (I was on one of them), and when Air Canada asked its employees for volunteers to be on the crew, they received 200 names. They had to pull names out of a hat at random because there were too many people who wanted to help.

We are inundated with food. Everyone has cooked for us, brought food to the detachments, to the memorial services, to local churches. Last night we had to coordinate among ourselves because we worried the food would go bad and be wasted, so we collected as much as we could and spread it out among as many local shelters as we could find. So, for this week at least, a sizeable chunk of the population of Moncton will not go hungry.

Although the flood of calls has died down, I would say that even now about half the calls I received last night was about the fallen officers and yesterday's funeral. People wanted to know what would happen to Officer Ross' dog, Danny (he'll be retired and placed with a family to live out his days, as far as I know), or wanted to express their condolences or their thanks for our service, or both.

Around 20:00 last night the clouds parted just enough to let a double rainbow arc through the sky above Moncton. We could see it through our window, huge and bright against the stormy sky. As I was gazing at it, my phone rang, and an older woman from the city spoke to me.

"I think it's your three officers, looking down over the city," she said, her voice breaking. "I think it's God, giving them one last moment to bless all of us."

I don't know about you, but as far as I'm concerned even if you don't believe in God per se, the sentiment is a beautiful one.


Constable Dave Joseph Ross, 32.
Constable Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45.
Constable Douglas James Larche, 40.
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)
The part of my day that I was going to devote to writing the long post about role models that t! asked for got suddenly taken up by logistics. I have been asked to go do relief work in Moncton, after last week's tragedy. Some of you may not know that an armed gunman shot and killed three RCMP officers and wounded two others in Moncton last week.

Needless to say, the RCMP over there are overwhelmed right now, not to mention grieving for the loss of their friends and family. So everyone who can is being asked to go and help out, and since I worked there for a month back in January of 2013, I was an obvious choice.

So I had to head directly to the office today upon coming to Ottawa, and only got home around 21:00, and now I am tired. So I shall be composing two longer posts tomorrow instead.

Sorry for the delay, but it was for a good cause!
mousme: A view of a woman's legs from behind, wearing knee-high rainbow socks. The rest of the picture is black and white. (To Be)
Not necessarily in that order. Come to think of it, when all the craziness has died down I may well do a Sergio Leone rewatch. It's been a while since I enjoyed a good Spaghetti Western. :)

Nattering about the week that just went by and the week to come )
mousme: The face of a green woman forest deity against a black background (Green Woman)
It started raining before I could get out in the yard this evening. Alas. On the plus side, [livejournal.com profile] pdaughter has agreed to give me a lift to and from the auto repair shop tomorrow, which means I'll be able to come back here and do the yard work during the morning.

It's been a long day, but my overtime went really well. I've been training for two non-consecutive days at the OCC in Ottawa so that I can help them out when they're short-staffed, and while the first shift was a bit mind-blowing in terms of all the information I had to absorb in such a short period of time, today went much better. It was a much busier day than the last time, but I was able to handle almost all of the work without too much assistance, which was reassuring for everyone. After all, I'm supposed to be there to help them, not be an additional strain on their resources.

The best call of the day was from an officer who wanted me to call in the city police to help relocate a family of ducks who were blocking an entire intersection. After we all laughed at him, he was (nicely) told to deal with the ducks himself. We do realise that it's good PR to have "Officer Saves Ducks!" on the 6 o'clock news, but come on, you're holding up traffic at rush hour. Your YouTube video is not going to go viral, okay? Okay.

I have a mild but very persistent headache, so I think that's all I'm going to write for this entry. Next on my list is (more) Advil and getting into comfier clothes. I have a busy day and a half ahead of me, after all.

See you on the flip side!


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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