Merry Monday – Easter


Easter weekend started off on a bit of a sour note for me. After waiting around for 2 hours for a police record check on Wednesday, the place that wanted it decided to tell me 30 minutes before I was supposed to meet with them that they didn’t need me anymore. The meeting was supposed to be in the evening. So I wasted my time and could’ve left town two days sooner had they had the decency to figure it out a week and a half ago. It’s rare that I give anyone another chance to waste my time these days. Time isn’t something you can get back. 

The drive to visit my family wasn’t bad. There were a couple of folks that would pass me just to exit the highway. Not sure why they were in the left lane if they knew they were exiting, but I guess there are different types of drivers. The mostly thawed lakes were stunning. There’s so much beauty on the drive as the ecosystems are awakening from their slumber.

I ended up with quite a headache from the sun that was on me for several hours. When I arrived at my destination, mom was roasting a chicken and the house was hot too as no one had opened any windows. It wasn’t until my cool walk home after visiting a friend that my headache had left.

I consumed a scary amount of calories this weekend. Especially on Sunday. There was a bottle of sangria, multiple pieces of cake, and actual food. I better work hard this week to burn it off! I was hoping to play Pokemon Go while visiting, but it rained most of the time I was there. It’s been a long time since it actually rained in April like it’s supposed to though, so I can forgive mother nature.

I enjoyed catching up with friends and mostly enjoyed seeing my family. The last couple of years have been hard. My parents have had a couple of health scares and haven’t yet put a will together so we’ve mentioned it and explained the importance. Not the happiest of topics for sure, but sometimes things just have to be talked about. The last thing I want is to be in a situation where siblings are fighting over petty items. I’ve seen that happen. Also, one of my siblings could end up in a really bad situation without a will, so we’re trying to make sure he’ll be ok. One parent is gung ho to get it handled and the other doesn’t want to do it. Some people feel children have no business talking to their parents about these things, but it’s not just about assets. It’s important to know things like burial vs cremation and if they have a plot already or not. Do they want extraordinary measures taken to keep them alive? There are a lot of things that are important to know. 

Anyway, onto other subjects. This week I’ll be spending more time figuring out the financial side of going to school. I’m hoping not to deplete all my retirement funds to do this, but also hoping that whatever I do need to use I’ll be able to pay back. I’m starting an online business and looking into part time work through the school. I’m hoping for something complimentary that doesn’t add to my workload immensely. I’ll have four writing courses in the first semester so I’d like something related to what I’m learning, but not on the writing side. Maybe there will be something I can do in the theatre. 

In a couple of days, the script writing version of NaNoWriMo begins. I’m going to give it a try as I expect it will teach me a lot regardless of whether the script ends up being any good.

Traveling back to Ottawa today. It’s adorable toddler’s birthday and I have something for him. He’s growing up so fast and will be starting school soon. 

Well, I need to shower, eat, finish packing, and get on my way. 

Salut,

R~

Advertisements

Merry Monday – A beautiful day for taxes

merry_monday

Image created using Bit Strips.

With French done, I have a lot of other things to catch up on. It seems like I have Mount Everest ahead of me, but I’m just going through the list one at a time. I’ve gotten a couple of things done and some started.

Renovations

Before the weekend, my new kitchen floor was installed. After the credits that Jiffy gave me, install cost less than $40. The old floor was light grey peel and stick tile, which was peeling itself up on the edges. Because I couldn’t get all the glue up from the floor underneath the peel and stick, I needed to put new floor in. Oh, I started peeling it up with a hair dryer. I really don’t recommend that. It doesn’t get hot enough to work well. It was taking around 20 minutes each tile with the hair dryer. With a proper heat gun, a couple hours for the whole floor.

Old floors:

New floor:

17834994_10158407850565696_2630747716030735882_o

It looks like slate. It’s one piece of Tarkett vinyl. A little soft for moving appliances around on, so be careful if you go with it. I have a little indent from my fridge that I’m annoyed about. You can only see it in the morning from the bathroom, when the light hits a certain way, but it’s there and I know it so it bugs me. This floor was less than $200 including the install and since I had to buy more than I needed due to the manufacturer only having 12 foot rolls, I have enough left for my bathroom someday.

Writing

On Saturday, I finished the Steampunk Romance story I’ve been working on for Eighth Ripple Press. It’s in and I’m waiting to hear what needs editing. I was stuck until I was told the word count didn’t have to be exactly in the range. Then it was like my brain figured out exactly what needed to happen to finish the story. So I’m a few hundred words short, but happy to be on the next stage of the project.

Other than this, I’m taking a little break while I do some things like taxes and visit my family for Easter.

Taxes

Can I just say that I’m so thoroughly pleased with CRA this year? Seriously. Their online option to link with my tax software actually worked and I didn’t have to put mostĀ of my income slips in. This was especially helpful since one of my former employers never gave me my T4. I was freaking out because my option was not to put anything or kind of guess. Neither of those felt right to me. I was going to call them, but then it just worked out!

I was proactive at the start of the year and had a beautiful spreadsheet where I had been adding up my car related expenses like fuel receipts. Do you think I could find it? Nope. Had to start over. Otherwise it’s going OK though. Now that my package has arrived, I can go out to my car and get the rest of the paper I need from there to maybe finish them today.

I suppose I should get back at it.

Salut,
R~

Fortifying Friday – With Bated Breath

tgif

Image created using Bit Strips.

I’m in a strange period where there are lots of things that *could* happen, but I’m waiting to see what does happen.

On School

4/5 transcripts have been received by the college. The transcript that is outstanding is my high school one. Perhaps hard to find as I’ve been out of high school for a *few* years. I know the college has received my application as not only have I received a student number, but the program head contacted me to request my written piece, which I had already submitted earlier the same day. Yes, it requires a written piece saying why you’re interested and suited for the program. Hopefully, I’ve convinced them to let me in. Hopefully, my high school stops sucking and finds my transcript… My guess is that mine hasn’t been digitized and they have to search for it. I have a campus tour booked for next week and will ask questions about work study and such.

Romantic Life

I had a lovely date this week with a nice man. It’s refreshing to go out with someone who doesn’t just want to get naked. Conversation wasn’t awkward at all and I had fun šŸ™‚

We’re both busy people though, so who knows when a second date will happen.

Novel

While proposing an article to a magazine, I accidentally picked up a beta reader for my novel. The magazine had asked for a sample of my writing to be included, so I sent the first 50 pages. This is the good kind of waiting.

Article

I’ve submitted an outline for a potential article to a magazine and am waiting to hear if it will be accepted. I’ve been waiting for this magazine to be open for submissions for a while now. Just having the opportunity is exciting!

Finances

Obviously in order to take the year of school, money will be needed. I will likely go into some debt for this, but it will be worth it to get into a line of work that will make me happier. I need to apply to OSAP. Apparently, I can do this long before school starts. I may book an appointment to talk to someone at the college about the finances to get it all arranged or see if I can find out about this while there next week. I know there might be bursaries to help me too. I will need a new laptop for the course. All the books are electronic, which will be a pleasant change from the old days where we had so much to lug around. I suppose I might not need a locker unless I bring workout equipment.

Aunt

As far as I know, my aunt is still hanging on at the time of this posting. They finally found some pain medication she could have, so at least she’s not suffering as much.

 

When faced with circumstances that are out of my control, I look to what I can control, so I’ve been spending time cleaning my condo. Ugh… So much junk to go through! But it’s slowly improving. One day at a time.

I have a short story to get working on for an anthology. I’ve started it. Right now, 8,500 words seems far away, but I know it’ll get easier as I go until I eventually find I’ve completed it. Then I’ll have to edit it. I’m mostly enjoying writing this one.

And it seems like there is always laundry and dishes to do. That might be why I dislike those activities. There isn’t really a way to be done with them.

I also have French to do. I totally meant to catch up this week, but that didn’t happen. I need to find my library card as I have French books to renew! Better go do that before anything else… Have a wonderful weekend filled with whatever makes you happy!!!

Salut,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – My World for Now

thoughtful

I don’t have one particular thing on my mind for Thoughtful Thursday, so I’ll ramble about life, martial arts, French, and writing today.

WordPress is acting strangely for me today, so I’ll apologize in advance for any possibly strange formatting and such. It has been deleting things after I type them…

Life

My bank accounts have all been sorted out. Unfortunately, I am not currently eligible for overdraft protection due to my currently unemployed state. It doesn’t matter that EI will be paying me nearly as much as what I netted when I was working. It also doesn’t matter that one pays income tax on EI. Ah well, I’ll be able to eat and pay for my mortgage and my other expenses. Self employment would count if I was actually making money off of my writing or any other venture.

I think I’m getting somewhere on cleaning my condo. Some days it’s hard to tell. I find something that needs to be gone through and that makes an area messier before it gets clean. This is rather like a number of things in life.

The outside of my ovenĀ is clean. I need to run the self-cleaning setting for the inside, but IĀ have an appointment this afternoon, so it will have to wait until later. I don’t think the people that owned it before ever cleaned it, so it’s pretty gross looking inside.

One of the things I almost have organized is my movie collection. Any non Blue Rays are in CD wallets. They take up so much less room. The problem is that I had bought a movie I already owned. It was $5, but I don’t want to get into the habit of accidentally doing that. I have a list now that has all the movies I own in it. I should probably get a real copy of Rent eventually rather than the PSP version. It’s the only PSP movie I own. Hey, I should charge that thing up and play with it sometime soon. Actually, I can probably trade or sell some games, though I think most probably aren’t worth much.

I’m registered with three recruitment agencies now. Hopefully, I will get a job lead soon, though it could be nice if it happens after the snow is gone. I like to hermit in the winter except for fun things like ice skating.

That reminds me. It’s only about $20 to get a skating pass for the year. I should do that and get my butt out of my house as there are about 8Ā arenas near me, which is awesome. The canal is fun too, but not near my home at all and parking at Dow’s lake gets expensive.

French

French has begun. We have a new teacher that we know only by first name. He’s very different. He makes us work a lot and often leaves the room while we are completing an exercise.

I was already doing one of the things the teacher wants us to do this semester, which is reading French books to increase vocabulary. He wants us to present on the books we are reading. They can be children’s books. They should be at a level for us where a 10-word sentence would have 2-3 words we don’t know. Any easier, we don’t learn. Any harder, we don’t understand enough.

It sounds like exam is going to be very difficult, so I’m a little scared. At least the courses are inexpensive, so if I had to retake, it wouldn’t kill my wallet, but I rather prefer passing classes.

He often likes to mention things that will damn us if we are taking the government exams. I write those down in case I go that far with French. My main aim has been to talk to my extended family. It would be nice to be eligible for bilingual job positions, though.

Martial Arts

I figured something out about my grip last night while I was practicing my cutting in my condo. Generally, they tell us to have our right index finger at a certain spot on the handle. But my tiny hands kept slipping as I cut. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong for the longest time. Last night, I noticed something on my handle. As many might know, katana often have inserts of things like fairies and such. One on each side of the sword’s handle. Near the bottom of the handle is a knot. This knot is where the left pinky rests above, on top of an opening where the manta ray skin shows, which is grippy. Well, I noticed that on the right side of the handle, near the bottom of where my doves sit, is a similar feeling knot. Instead of making sure my index finger is one finger away from the tsuba (sword guard), I’m going to try to make sure my right pinky is gripping by this knot. Hopefully, my slipping grip will go away and my cutting will improve. I’m sure it will take a bit to correct this for good, but I already feel an improvement in my grip.

Writing

I’m struggling to write this short story. I did some plotting last night. Hopefully that helps me get it written and the anthology accepts it.

Once I finish it, I’ll be back to working on The Blood Waitress Club. I mightĀ still need to fix the parts I last read to my writing group. I’ll have to take a good look at it.

So much to do and there never seems to be enough time!

Ciao,
R~

Merry Monday – Blue Monday 2017

moon-969236_640This weekend has been all over the map.

Friday turned out unexpectedly good. As you may recall, I was dreading my appointment. I don’t really like going on in winter unless I’m doing something with friends. By registering with this one recruiter, I had the option of being registered with another. I’m now registered with three recruiters in Ottawa, so triple the chances of getting work! After the appointment, I went on a search to get tickets for the bus. I didn’t find the store for them, but at this corner the bus that takes me really close to home, the bus I can never catch, was right on the corner and despite not having the proper funds, the busdriver let me on. I had too little change or a $10 bill. I put in a ticket for excellent customer service without mentioning exactly what he did as I don’t want him to get in trouble. It was really cold that day too!

I pulled together a decent supper with a glass wine and managed to gobble my food down before it was time for writing group. My group enjoyed my WIP short sci-fi story, which is a nice boost. Group ended early, so I watched The Girl with All the Gifts. It was a different take on a zombie apocalypse. I don’t recommend it to pregnant women. I do recommend it to everyone else. It’s not extremely horrifying or overly gory. I hear the book is great too. Now I’m wondering if it’s only one book or a series…

I didn’t do a lot on Saturday. It was the anniversary of Alan Rickman’s passing and I watched The January Man in honour of him. It’s January and I’d never seen it before. It was a decent movie, but it needed more Rickman. Oh, I also made delicious gluten free wings in the oven that were golden and crispy. After that I watched Little Ashes. I really liked it. I enjoyed learning more about Salvador Dali and Federico Garcia Lorca.

On Sunday, I figured out my bank accounts are having issues. One account, my main one with all my money in it, had somehow lost its bank card mapping, so money has been coming out of the other one. That account I only transfer into as needed, so now it’s overdrawn. As a result? I couldn’t access either of them from a debit terminal and had to buy groceries with my credit card. Oh, also, I stupidly gave a cheque for the wrong account to my condo corp for the special assessment and of course it bounced. And my condo corp decided to take the monthly fee out of the wrong account, so I sent a nasty email to them because there is zero percent reason why they should’ve made a change to my monthly payment. I’m going to consolidate them into one account and not have this problem in the future. For now, I put the cheques for that account in a bag and left myself a note saying those are not the cheques to use. I’ve been to the banks today and I have successfully gotten my bank card designation fixed. My mortgage is also fixed, though I came to fix it so early that it didn’t show on their system, so they were confused as to why I was giving them money. I have a receipt. The account that gets paid from has been changed now as well. My life insurance is also updated. I think the only thing left is my car payment. The lady that fixed my bank card issue suggested I call tomorrow to close my one savings account as the other two I have make more in interest. I shall do that. I tried to use the phone earlier to fix this, but I didn’t have a 5-digit password and apparently I won’t need it to get through as they’ll just ask me things to verify who I am. I have this feeling that PC Financial has gotten hacked to a degree. How else would my bank card designations suddenly change?

Iaido was lovely on Sunday as it was only me on the student side of the room. I got corrections for a couple of kata, specifically Shinobu and Ukenagashi. Hopefully, those will stay in my brain and be accessible the next time we do that set. Shinobu makes a lot more sense now. It’s amazing what a slight footwork change can do to a whole kata.

Aside from fixing banking problems today, I also need to fix up my resume, and go to my first day of French level 3. I stopped at the liquor store to get some wine for my sanity and to confirm that my bank card issue was resolved. I hope the “soft, easy-drinking” red I picked up is tasty. I will test it with some pasta this week. I also got a small bottle of sake. They have way less on the shelf now that it isn’t Christmastime… Note to self for next year. Actually, I should just find a place that has my favourite one and stock up. Maybe the little blue bottle will become my favourite though… I also got more of the Sangria I receivedĀ as a gift because it’s tasty. I didn’t find any Barolo there. Not even in the vintage section.

Well, I should eat lunch though I never got to breakfast. Wait. I think I had a couple of marshmallows for breakfast actually. I think I’ll be happy when this day is complete. At least I’ve been too busy fixing things to be overcome by the melancholy that often comes with Blue Monday?

Ciao,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Fighting Back

thoughtful

Some days it’s really hard to stay strong. There’s just so much bullshit in the world.

I got a letter from my condo board claiming I owe them money. When I check through my bank account, their claim doesn’t add up. No doubt they’ll find some convoluted accounting reason despite my evidence to the contrary. Problem is that if I don’t pay it by Monday I risk being charged upwards of $2,000. See how the little person gets screwed over? Oh, I got the letter yesterday. And they only want to accept certified cheques or bank drafts, which I don’t think they are allowed to do. I believe they have to accept payment in any format. If I wanted to pay all in nickels, they have to take it.

Earlier this year they *had* to change banks. What company spontaneously needs to change banks? Then they screwed up taking payments for months on end and we had to give them cheques in payment. All my cheques went through earlier in the year as well. In August, they took 3 payments on the same day to fix the earlier issue and all of mine went through. I wasn’t poor then and my bank account never dipped even close to a non-sufficient funds amount.

I’ve asked them to run the numbers again because there is a line item that never hit my bank account so it’s impossible. Also, money was taken out. According to my records they owe me 4 cents.

They emailed back to state just what was in the letter to me, so I sent a copy of my bank statement for the month in question clearly showing their claims to be false.

At the suggestion of friends, I’ve contacted a pro-bono lawyer to see if I can get help with the matter. My income Ā was slashed in half earlier this year when I was laid off, so I can’t afford all this sudden financial bleeding. It’s also Christmas time and I still have dad to buy for. Everyone is getting less this year because I just can’t afford it.

I’m really hoping they just admit they screwed up and that I don’t have to fight them on it. To me, it doesn’t seem like they have a leg to stand on, but they’re being obstinate about it.

Given all the weird things they’ve done this year with the financials, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is something illegal going on, but the system isn’t set up for condo owners to prove fraud easily at all. It’s all too easy to get high quotes that make a contractor buddy look good when there are others that do better work for less. It’s all too easy to lump a personal purchase in with a condo furniture purchase. It’s all too easy to move a charge to a different account, so you don’t have to pay for a month of your own fees.

I’ll never own a condo again, though my intent wasn’t to sell this one, but eventually use it as rental income. We’ll see if that is still my plan in the far distant future.

They have apparently sent my bank statement to the accountant. We’ll see what the accountant says.

I could use a Christmas miracle right about now.

Ciao,
R~

Merry Monday: Obstacles and Choices

Image created using Bit Strips.

Image created using Bit Strips.

I’m not a stranger to people not wanting to take a chance on me. My mother had a heart attack after having boy number two and the doctors recommended she abort me as they felt it too risky to go through with the pregnancy. She told them no because she was sure I was her little girl she’d been wanting.

When I started school no one wanted to play with me. No one wanted to share toys either, so I went to the books and read to myself.

I didn’t have much in the way of friends until high school. I was bullied. I was also petite and not athletic, so I wasn’t wanted in gym class. I couldn’t understand why points mattered. They didn’t translate to marks after all.

I wasn’t quick to make friends in high school. The kids who gave me a chance were the oddballs. I found myself in theatre, choir, and band. I also got involved in various committees and helped plan events. I plan things for a living now.

After college, I had trouble getting a job. Despite doing a good job at a work placement, the Catholic school board didn’t want to take a chance on hiring me, a non-Catholic. It was a while before I landed a job.

But I never let obstacles stop me. I recognized that I was pretty horrible at the interview, if I got that far, and signed up for a government-funded course on resumes and interviews. I then landed a job on the corrections help desk.

The job following that, they only gave me the access I needed once my colleague couldn’t be there and things got into a bad state. They didn’t want to take a chance that I had the skills despite education, certification, and experience.

I chose to go back to school to upgrade because I was tired of terrible managers. That resulted in a job before graduating. A telecom company gave me a chance and I did good work until the government divested them.

I took a chance and decided to leave the stressful environment, despite how much it was like a family, then landed a job in Ottawa. The day job is going well and I enjoy the people there.

This week is starting less than great. Some of the things bugging me are minor. Small things are combining all at once into a ball of frustration.

  1. I’m trying to sell a guitar the ex-husband gave meĀ because it reminds me of the past and because I want a 3/4 size since I’m 3/4 sized, but the neck is twisted and repairing that would cost more than buying a new guitar. It’s more twisted than a truss rod adjustment will fix.
  2. A benefits claim was only partially paid out despite 100% coverage. Their note suggests naturopathic claims are not reasonable, despite 100% coverage and that it was well under my yearly allotment for naturopathic coverage.
  3. Somehow my bank and condo got out of sync and I got an NSF charge. More money spent for no reason.
  4. I might be falling behind on NaNoWriMo and I’m really wanting to finish my editing this month.
  5. I tried to install Magic Duels on the weekend on Steam to improve my skill. The play button is there and it’s free. Problem is, I can’t add it to my library, so I can’t play it. Was just another frustrating thing.
  6. It’s so hard to find that person that gets me. I want someone to share my life with.
  7. My finances are a little tighter than I’d like. My own fault for buying a little more than I should have off Amazon.

So I’m choosing to focus on what is in my realm of control and what I can bring into my realm of control. Everything else is not worth stressing over.

  1. On the guitar, my action plan is first to try and sell it for parts. Next, see if the guitar shop will give me anything at all for it in trade, even $5, it’d be more than I can get anywhere else. Option 3 is to donate it to get it out of my life. My plan for buying the one I want is delayed now, but I have an acoustic and I should be writing anyway šŸ˜‰
  2. I shouldn’t have to appeal this, but if I want to get the cash, I’ll have to jump through hoops. Really, they’ll probably lose more on my appeals than it would cost to just pay my claim.
  3. This has happened a few times now. The best course of action may be to either change the account it comes out of to the one with overdraft protection, or stop automatic payments.
  4. I guess I need to get my butt in gear. I took some time off this weekend to catch a breather and do some long overdue cleaning. I made my writing nook much easier to get into.
  5. I logged a support request. I should be writing anyway šŸ˜‰
  6. Well, I bought 3 Paint Nite sessions. Maybe I’ll meet someone there? I’m also on Happn, but nothing has come of it yet. I hated OK Cupid and Plenty of Fish. Otherwise,Ā I’m not great at opening up and getting to know others, but I’m trying to get better at it. Maybe I should hang out in the fantasy section at chapters or in the library (where books are free).
  7. Instead of buying my guitar, I’m paying off my debt. The family will be giving me money in a couple of months for my birthday anyway.

Perhaps not the merriest of Merry Mondays, but I’m trying. And one of my afternoon meetings got moved later in the week, so that’s a happy thing šŸ™‚

Ciao,
R~