Sunday, November 01, 2009

Click, clack, write

Tippitey typety! It's NANOWRIMO time!

I'm going to become deliberately "OCD" with the hand washing and take my vitamins and drink lots of water so I don't get sick. I need to have energy to spend all my free time writing and work certainly isn't going to let up this month! One new hire, budget presentation, my one year anniversary (and review), displays, programs......

Plus, I've already fended off friends and work folks with 2 cases of stomach flu, 2 colds, 2 "seasonal" flus and 1 doctor diagnosed, but not lab confirmed case of H1N1.

Can't get sick! Too much to do! When it comes to even the possibility of getting sick this month - no this year! I will quote the great Mythbuster Adam: "I reject your reality and substitute my own." I declare myself to be immune. "And I am unanimous in that!" (to also quote Mrs. Slocombe)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Had a pretty good day. Got lots done. Feeling calm and happy and pleased with myself that I'm not letting petty little things get to me. *ohm*I am at peace with the universe*ohm*

Then home and cable, which went out last night (or at least most channels went away completely, and most of those that remained were appearing somewhat like it looks when you try to stream video online on dial-up speed) is *Still* out. Grrr. Then jumping through 27 machine-generated hoops just to *not get to talk to an operator who was too busy helping other customers. 15 minutes later I was granted the opportunity to leave my phone number and a message to call me when an operator is available - this involved another 5 minutes of jumping through various machine hoops. Then about half an hour later someone called - proving that there's no point in leaving a message when it asked for one earlier, he had no idea why I called...

So, another house call - and where I live all they'll say is it could be any time between 8am and 5pm. At least I can say - call me 20 minutes before arrival and I'll come home.

GRRRRR. Shaw cable has got to be the lousiest cable service I've ever had! It's slow - it takes a noticable amount of time to change from one channel to the next - it's frequently got random channels not working, and it's down altogether way more often than is reasonable.

And irony of ironies? The price has gone up twice in the last 3 months. And yesterday when I got the notice of this latest increase, I considered whether I really want to keep cable TV (I still need my internet) considering how crappy the service is and how much I actually watch the dumb TV.

I honestly think that if Numb3rs, NCIS and Supernatural were available on itunes here (and btw wtf?! why aren't they?!) I would drop cable completely. What else do I watch? The odd movie, Mythbusters and Ghosthunters. I can live without these things.

Anyway, now I have to clean up so I'm not too mortified when the cable guy comes in tomorrow. Plus I need to chill. This crap is stressing me out and harshing my calm. I did the blood pressure thingy while I was out scouring this town to find a store that carries diet coke - anyway, my blood pressure was actually the highest I've ever seen it!

I'm usually just this side of too low (so low end of normal), but this time I was actually 152/97! (should be below 120/80) - I know not the highest ever, but for me! And it wasn't the machine either because I took several deep breaths and made a conscious effort to relax and then redid it and it went down a little (though still 144/93)

Ugh. Time to clean up and listen to calming music.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I read a book!

I know!! For ages it seems, I've been the living, breathing definition of irony: a librarian who hasn't finished an actual book in too long to admit.

Anyway, it was "The letter opener" by Kyo Maclear. Her first book! I actually enjoyed it a lot. Ok, so honestly, I haven't 100% finished it. But I'm really, really close. Absolutely adored it. I really related to Naiko - though I've yet to find my Paolo or my Andrei. I still hope though!

Sleep now. Will finish the book tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Bite me dorkicus!

From the Service Alberta linked site: on tenant rights in Alberta. The section on return of security deposit:

5. Time Limits
If there is no damage, no rent owing, the premises are left reasonably clean, and all of the keys are returned, then the landlord must return the full security deposit, including interest, to the tenant within ten days from the day the tenant moves out of the premises. If the tenant has damaged the premises and the landlord has made a deduction from the security deposit, then the remaining money of the deposit and a statement of account showing the amount of the deposit money used by the landlord for repairs is to be given to the tenant within the ten day period. The landlord cannot make a deduction for normal wear and tear.

Sometimes it may be impossible for the landlord to determine the exact amount of the damages within the ten day period. In such cases, the landlord is required to give the tenant an estimated statement of account and return the remaining money, if any, to the tenant within the ten day period. A final statement and the remaining money, if any, must be given to the tenant within thirty days of the date the tenant moved out of the premises.

It's been over TWO MONTHS.

I've tried to be polite. I've tried to be accommodating. I've tried to be kind.

I am done now. Tired of being strung along. You chose to reject my final cheques for utilities and final half-month rent and deduct it from the security deposit I'd given you. I suspected that was because you didn't set it aside as you're required to by law, but again with my foolishly feeling sorry for you and wanting to be accommodating I let it go. The remainder you were trying to apply to damage you accused me of - though none of my moving helpers noticed this damage when they helped me move out. But after two and a half months - no more. I'm prepared to seek legal council.

I'm a doormat no more. Pity and accommodation and kindness only take you so far. You wore out your chances. And assumed wrongly that this librarian didn't know how to look up her rights - and that she also wouldn't stand up for them.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I am a bundle of contradictions

Fact: it is both a blessing and a curse to be able to see and at least somewhat understand opposing sides to every argument.

Fact: Sunsets are pretty and can result in deep thinking.

Fact: "Retail therapy" is also both a blessing and a curse.

Fact: Sleep is important.

Fact: Inspiration is elusive.

Fact: Energy is finite and can be difficult to replenish.

Fact: Guilt about not having enough energy (or about anything really) is counterproductive.

Fact: Singularities are only cool in physics

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

...or get off the pot

I've got to stop reading agent and editor blogs and just finish the damn novel already!

Also, I'm reading two math books at the moment - "A mathematical mystery tour" - about a mathematician who travels all over talking with super smark math types about the history of math and the sort of philosophical question of whether or not math is discovered or created. It's kind of interesting so far - some thinky-thoughts. The other is "Zero: the biography of a dangerous idea" - which is about "zero" and how much math was actually done without it, and how much more is possible with it. It's giving me some boggles, but it's interesting to think that the concept of "zero" is not as old as you might think!

I do need to get with it and get writing again, but reading I think is still ok - and not to be counted as wasting time I should be spending writing.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Where I've lived...

Ontario: Until I was 24 and again at 28

Michigan: Mid twenties

Ohio: Early 30s (the first place I have digital pics for): The view from my balcony after a storm.

Washington (State): Where I lived first in a 340 square foot cabin in the woods for over a year, and then an odd old house with many harbour rats invading the garage all winter
And finally a weirdly laid-out row house.

Alberta: where I took pity on someone and accepted a short term rental of an odd run-down place (though it was in a nice location - nice view): Nice Views OUTside...

Not so much INside
Teh Kitchen rug...

Teh Tub edge...

Teh Bedroom rug... You get the idea.
Then I moved in to my latest place, which so far is pretty nice (much nicer and better smelling without the mouse dander than the last place!)

It's pretty nice OUTside AND In

Here's hoping these landlords are honest!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon

So sad. I remember her in Charlie's angels (loved that show!) and Michael... well I didn't really know him from the Jackson 5, but Thriller and Billy Jean were awesome parts of my teenage years.

Both of these two celebrities were pretty messed up in life. Michael more than Farrah I think, but still, I hope they both find the peace and clarity they never found in life.

And Ed... well, him and Johnny are still the benchmark aren't they? But you had a full life. I hope you went without regret.

RIP all. Its been a tough week all around. Toughest on your families.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Disappointing day.

Will someone please tell me where the tattoo is on my person that is apparently visible to all but me that says "SUCKER!"

In the last year I've been scammed, lied to, cheated and conned by so many - I'm not talking about falling for one of those emails asking for my bank info, or offering me a share of £40,000,000 if only I'll accept a bank transfer and say I'm someone's long lost niece or something. No, these are supposedly reputable businesses and friendly upstanding community members.

The moving company whose local agency told me that no drivers were willing to sign up to take the ferry to come to my completely accessible house to pick up my goods for moving while telling the drivers that their trucks weren't allowed to go on the ferry to my completely accessible house - all so they could charge me >$400 for a pickup in their truck instead of the big company's mandated $50 ferry charge. And to add to it they charged both! And big surprise when I complained that the big company replied that they asked the local company and they said the charge was correct so to bad for me.

The phone company charging me a $18 "data processing fee" on top of $17 "activation fee" for the onerous task of flipping a switch to turn on my phone service and then explaining the "data processing fee" when I asked as "it's for data processing!"

The cable company, giving me much slower internet and dodgy cable reception and charging apparently $5 more per month for the privilege and then keeping me on the phone for half an hour saying how much they appreciate my business and the next available operator will be happy to serve me... after making me jump through 67 hoops saying or punching buttons to get to the right queue (which we all know is the same queue and the steps are just a time waster - I know, I had an agent who must have been on his last day or something actually confirm this once). I hung up eventually without ever speaking with a person.

The former landlord who is claiming now that he had to tear up the carpet (the 40+ year old nasty manky carpet and accusing me of trying to cover up a "horrendous" stench with a plug-in deoderiser I accidentally left there. The irony? I put in the plug-in oil-scent thing to cover the musty mouse and dog smell that bothered me as soon as I moved in. As a favour I even steam-cleaned part of the manky old carpets. I left that place cleaner and in better shape than when I moved in. And my payment for this? Blanket accusations without cause in a churlish email. I'm surprised, though I shouldn't be I guess.

Then some other emails from others that were condescending at best (another hot-button annoyance of mine) and then other emails and calls from people who just disappointed me.

Rough day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. It will be. I'll find a way to make it so.

Monday, June 01, 2009

*is panicking*

Somehow, of the about ten people who offered to help me move... all have since had to back out for work, or scheduling issues. (well, one hasn't cancelled but I haven't confirmed, and one chick and me can't move the furniture)

I didn't arrange to hire a commercial mover because so many people offered to help and now I fear it's too late.

PANIC!!! I have to move beginning less than a week from now...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The howling of wolves

The wolves are howling, howling wolves.

What are they howling about? What do they say?


"The wolves were howling"
"Shoot kid, maybe they are"
"I'm not ready to make nice"
"Speak friend and enter"

I think I might have to marry the first person who recognises all these quotes, knows where they're from and has even a basic understanding of what they mean to me - and why I still check hollows in trees - those up high for one thing and those at the bottom of trees for another.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Great films

I find that the best movies I've ever seen are ones that not a lot of other people see. They're not the blockbuster "tentpole" mega-million dollar budget films typically for me. Oh, I've seen some bluckbusters that are good. But the ones that have stuck with me the most tend to be small productions.

Probably my favourite modern movie is one called The Namesake which hardly anyone has heard of and won no major awards. But it's one that I thought was quite possibly the best example of storytelling and cinema I have ever seen.

I saw a really good small-time movie last week thanks to the Sylvan Lake Film Society. It wasn't as amazing as The Namesake, but it was its own kind of awesome. It was funny and inspiring and I loved it! The Stone of Destiny is a movie about, well, the "Stone of Destiny" of Scottish history and legend. And when everyone woke up on Boxing day hooting and honking horns... Well, I got a little verklempt!

Other favourites: Casablanca, Wizard of Oz and Star Wars (the original and its two sequels only) - which just goes to show that I do like some very well known films as well.

Other other favourites: Shaun of the Dead, Serenity, Escanaba in da moonlight, Sweeny Todd, The Birdcage, Calendar Girls, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, Lord of the Rings trilogy: Fellowship, Two Towers and Return of the King and The Outsiders - all of which shows that my favs aren't all "high-brow" and that I do like some silly stuff. Some of these were big, some very small, some serious, some funny..

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Did something stupid

Looked at a picture of myself about a month before I got bronchitis... healthy and more fit than I'd been in a while.

Then just for morbid curiosity's sake, I brought up a picture of myself from a couple of months after I had to take steroids to deal with the lung complications that came after the bronchitis. Bad idea.

Very BAD Idea.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lazy weekend...

Mostly. I did disassemble the stove to clean under the stovetop *YUCK* and I'm doing laundry right now. Other than that I've mostly been sitting around eating junk food and reading crap online.


Oh, well.

Plus, it snowed all day and last night. Hello! Mother Nature, it's SPRING! Make with the warm weather and flowers already! Not SNOW! There's been quite enough of that already thank you.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring has sprung!

It was 8C here today!! I can see a few spots where the snow has melted enough that I can see tufts of grass even! I busted out my spring jacket, and really it was a little chilly still for that, but I felt happy to be out in something other than down. The only problem really was that when I switched coats this morning, I forgot that my wallet was in the winter coat's pocket and didn't remember until *after* I'd had my sub made at Subway... Oh well, at least I don't live too far so I was able to zip home and get it and still get my lunch!

Interesting day at work... due to staff shortages (vacation and sickness), I spent most of the day working on the front desk! It's been a while =D I had to just let go of the fact that I have about a zillion things I need to be doing other than this, but still, *this* (the patrons signing out books and asking questions) this is what I do the rest for so it's all good.

Tired though! Man do I suck! Just one day spent on the front desk and running around and I'm beat! Am I that old? Or is it still the move induced flare still wearing me out... Hmm, either way, I'm glad it's Friday and I can sleep in tomorrow!

Secret of the day...

I miss Friday Harbor more than I thought I would. Not work so much (mostly because as awesome as a couple of people were - and the kids, a couple of other people were crappy enough to make it miserable for me.

But the fun and friends and beautiful scenery... those I definitely do miss.

And this has nothing to do with how I feel here. I love it here. I still feel weirdly foreign sometimes, but comfortable too and sometimes more natural than I have in 7.5 years... I'm not sure there's anyplace in the world where I'd fit in completely, and I'm not sure there's anything wrong with that.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

The heart of a writer - broken?

Few things stop the heart of a writer quicker I think than finding a book that seems to be exactly what you're currently writing...

I was ordering books for my library yesterday when I came across a book that at first glance struck me as "Crap! That's the book I'm writing!!" My heart stops, my soul is crushed... Still, I put a copy on hold for me to read and then went on with the day of work.

Too busy last night but tonight I looked up the book and read a little more about it and I don't think it's the same. It does explore some of the same themes. So my heart restarted anyway!

I'll read it when it comes and see.

The place of a story?

I'm trying to decide if I should now set my novel in Canada.

Admittedly, prior to now I've been a bit of a coward about actually setting it in a specific town - either part (there's where now is happening in the book, then there's flashbacks to somewhere else).

Part of this is that if I set it someplace specific and real, I'd have to know that place well - and I don't really know anywhere all that well. In the States, I've lived in Ann Arbor, MI for a little over 3 years, 10-13 years ago, Fairfield, OH (Just outside of Cincinnati) for a little over 4 years, 3-8 years ago and Friday Harbor, WA (an island in Northern Puget Sound) for 3.5 years (until last fall). None I really knew well enough to set a whole life in, and none really very interesting to set a life in.

If I set it in Canada (seeing as how I've moved back here) - where? Where I grew up? I haven't lived there or spent any real time there in over 13 years. Where I live now? I've only been here 4 months. I only know this town in the winter for a start!

Of course, I could set it anywhere and just do the research, but everything I've read says if I'm going to set a story someplace real and specific, I have to know that place personally.

Setting it in Canada might give more publishing opportunities here in Canada, but I think would hinder it being published elsewhere. Setting it someplace I've never been I think would make in insincere. Setting it in the States, might limit opportunities here in Canada. And setting it either no where in particular, or someplace invented and maybe even vague about the country I fear is a cop-out and pretty lame.

Decisions. The location isn't critical to the plot, but it would be a part of the story a little.

What to do, what to do...?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How my other cat helps me write

That's the Sleeman's box I use as a foot rest so I can have my chair high enough to have the right angle to type. And yes, that's popcorn on the floor. Don't ask.

Friday, March 06, 2009


So it's Friday night. Did I spend the evening on a hot date? Did I go and see the Watchmen movie? Go out to dinner? Lounge around home writing or eating bonbons?


I spent the evening (until 9:20) in my office trying to find the information needed for my library's annual audit. Why so hard to find? Because the previous director was grumble... mumble... curse!

All kinds of things are missing which should be clearly and meticulously organised and filed in a way that is easy to use and find.

I'm probably going to run into this woman at the provincial library conference as she still works in this province. How am I going to stop myself from throttling her? I've been here a little over three months and this is FAR from the first time I've had to deal with recreating things she WELL knew she had to do - because she didn't!!


But, then I came home and though I would normally switch channels instantly seeing "The View" come on - they caught me when they said Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Nathan Fillion was on. JDM just made my list of sexiest men ever. Nathan is no slouch either. But DAMN!! Jeffrey Dean Morgan's voice!! *swoon* Ahhh, thank you JDM, I no longer feel the need to burn my predecessor in effigy and scream until I lose my voice.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Had a weird dream the other night...

I was drowning in my bathtub. It was one of those old urban legend stories you heard around the beer tub in university. I'd somehow passed-out and my hair had clogged the drain and the water was over my head.

But fear not! I turned off the faucet and then splashed and pushed the water out until I could breathe and then I reached back and held my hair and pulled it out of the drain. It tore and ripped, but didn't pull off my scalp and I didn't drown.

Here's the weird part. It was me doing this, but I felt nothing. I was watching from above like I was standing beside the tub looking down. The me in the tub couldn't see me but I was there. I felt no fear, no terror - nothing! It was like I was watching it happen on TV or something.

It's the weirdest thing! Am I *that* separated from my own feelings? Is the notion of feeling anything so foreign to me that it's nothing more than academic to me now?

I actually find it kind of disturbing.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dear Mr. Holder

You anger me.

You are *NOT* an "average" American.

Neither am I.

I am not a coward.

Out of the two of us, one is NOT living in the past.

It's not you.

We are of different generations - and I am of a different generation than those of all races who deified Obama through the election process.

My generation is sick of hearing about it.

The next generation doesn't get what you're talking about - the civil rights movement is as much history to them as World War II.

There is still racism.

No one race is singularly guilty of being racist.

It's not ok for anyone to be racist even if white folks "don't understand black anger".

Just because I didn't vote for a certain candidate during the primaries doesn't mean I'm racist against him. Maybe, just maybe it was because I didn't think he had the experience needed yet. Maybe I wanted to vote for him in 8 years once he had even a little bit of international experience.

And CNN? It also doesn't mean that I'm "subconsciously racist" either.

It offends me when it's ok for the official blessing during the inauguration prayed for "black to get back, red man to get ahead man, yellow to be mellow" all positive wishes I guess if not vaguely racist, while the prayer for "white" was to "do what's right" which is confrontational and accusing.

It offends me when you call me a coward because I disagree with you that everyone needs to talk incessantly about Race.

Grow up and snap out of it and smell the fact that it's been more than FORTY YEARS since the civil rights movement. It worked. You have a couple of generations since who have grown up learning and internalising the lesson that race doesn't matter. We're not living in a utopia yet - but we're in a different world than the one you grew up in. Stop blaming me for things that happened before I was born.

Maybe it won't be completely a non issue until your generation dies off or is safely ensconced in senior homes where the rest of us don't have to hear from you any more.

Calling me a coward because I don't see the need to constantly harp on the past is not productive.

Please shut up.


An angry Citizen.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fibromyalgia sucks ass

And all kinds of other things. For serious.

I'd really like to be able to sleep more than in the mornings. I can't wake up in the morning. I have three different alarm clocks going off at seven different times over a half hour period - and I still manage to hit snooze on all of them for up to two hours without actually waking up. Meanwhile I'm unable to sleep at night when I want to.

Still, I've got a great new computer at my great job and I actually started writing a little again (though I've misplaced a couple of notebooks full of writing and it's stressing me out because I know I've seen them recently!)

Anyway, on balance, I'm happy so I call it win!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

How my younger cat helps me write

Or, you know, not... He is awfully cute though...

Oh, and pay no attention to the evidence of my serious caffeine addiction

Monday, February 09, 2009

It's been AGES!!!

So, I moved from Washington State - an island off the coast of Washington State to the middle of Alberta, Canada in November and started a new job at the end of November. Slowly settling in and getting in the swing of things - and getting used to being back in Canada again! It's been a while since I lived north of the border...

Actually, I feel very much like a foreigner surprisingly. I was born in Canada and grew up and lived in Canada until I was nearly 25 - but I've lived 11 of the last 13 years in the States and really, 25 is still a kid so I've really lived almost all of my adult life in the States.

I never would have believed that I would feel so much like a foreigner in the country of my birth... but I kinda do. Not in a bad way really - it's just an adjustment.

Still, it's beautiful here:

So I can't complain.

Now if only I could start reading and writing again. The muse left me when I moved west in 2005 and I haven't found her again yet.

It'll come. I have faith.