Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Things I discovered while packing:

  • My husband owns a Worf t-shirt from 1994 (the shirt is actually signed & dated for some reason).
  • We have way more glasses than we could ever use (and much of it is now going to the local thrift store)!
  • We have way more tupperware and bakeware than we will ever use (also going to the thrift store).
  • I like wrapping things with bubblewrap.
  • I look forward to popping the aforementioned bubblewrap when unpacking!
  • I don't think bubblewrap is very eco-friendly, so we also bought some recycled paper bubblewrap substitute. It's not as fun as bubblewrap, but it's still satisfying to wrap things with it. And it's recyclable when we're done.
  • I still don't like packing, but it's easier to pack certain things (my husband's clothes, the dishes) than others (the bathroom supplies, my clothes).

Parking lots

I think most parking lots are not designed. At all. Someone plopped down the parking lot as an after thought, and didn't even consider people would drive in them. I mean, if someone actually thought about flow and safety in a parking lot, corners would be open and visible. And yet parking lots are filled with blind corners, right corners, and and full shrubs (or worse - trees) are planted at corners.

Who in their right mind would create such unsafe corners? Sure, when you planted that shrub or tree, it was small. But with even a tiny bit of forethought, you'd have realize that shrub or tree would grow and fill out, blocking visibility.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Joke of the Day!

Ever feel like when you call "Tech Support" or "Customer Services" for any given company, you're calling someone working on the other side of the world? You need to watch this video.

For Canadians ... or anyone who kinda understands how the Canadian electoral system works ... or anyone who finds that "Slap Chop" commercial annoying ... go watch this video!

Let me know what you think!

Moving and other frustrations

So we are faced with a few dilemmas and a few conundrums. (Or is it conundri?) All of these problems are relating to our move on Friday, and I'll elaborate on them more another day.

Like many new brides, I have put on weight. It started with the amazing French food on the honeymoon! It continued with a lazy, mostly relaxing summer which involved barbecues and not enough activity. In an effort to get back to my wedding weight, I have now started back up with the aerobics, which is great but painful! I have yoga tonight, which I am loving (although tonight's only the second class). On Saturdays, I have a total body training circuit class. I still feel it from my first class. So hopefully, I can get back down a few pounds so my jeans aren't so snug.

Anyway, blogging over. Back to packing!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn! (I'm tired and I hate packing)


We packed this week-end. And paused for a yummy dinner cooked by Wade's mommy.

I like packing with Wade much better than when I lived on my own. Significant parts of packing involves him holding things up and I tell him which pile it goes into. Then he packs the piles into the appropriate boxes.

And even though I have the easiest packing EVER, I still hate it.

That's how much I hate packing.

Blah. And yaaaaaaaaaaaaawn.

On the bright side: we move on Friday!
On the down side: I have to pack dishes by myself tomorrow.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

If you buy this house:

If you buy this house, our house sale will be finalized. And the seller is in a HUGE HURRY to sell, so keep that in mind when looking at their asking price. (We're no longer in a huge hurry to sell, thankfully.)

Know anyone interested in real estate in Kingston? :)

UPDATE: If that house doesn't sell by Monday, we may have to consider breaking our deal with our buyer and put our house back up on the market. We're not in a huge rush to sell, like our buyer is, because the bank approved us to carry both houses (not bridge financing, but a second loan). So then we can take our time and sell again. Our house sold in less than 2 weeks last time: 6 day to get an offer, and less than 2 weeks to fully close the deal. And that's typical in our neighbourhood. We have a small home in a very desirable neighbourhood, and real estate is good in our town right now (it's picked up since we listed in August). So we are so happy, no matter what happens, we have faith it'll work out!

Friday, September 25, 2009

So ... we're back to buying our house!

Le sigh. The big mess is fixed. As friends on facebook pointed out, the "problem" was the buyer (SM*) & her lawyer's problem, but since she lost the financing, it became our problem.

What confuses me the most: her realtor (JT*) told us that SM lives in Ottawa and was moving to Kingston. JT wanted us to lower our house price because we couldn't close on her preferred date (Sept 18), so SM would have to live in a hotel for a couple weeks because she was moving to Kingston on September 18, from Ottawa. That's over 200 km away! However, now we've found out that in fact SM lied to us: she does in fact live in our city. In fact, she lives about a 15 minute walk away from where we live! Something very bizarre happened here. SM is lying outright, threatening to sue us over a couple hundred dollars, and now it turns out she hadn't sold her house. And her realtor, JT, obviously knew SM lived in Kingston. So JT is a dishonest realtor, and I believe lying like this is unethical.

Long story short: we are approved to buy our new house before our current hosue sells. So it doesn't matter now! We will briefly own two houses, which will be very tight in the budget. But do-able. And once our house sells, our finances will free up! :)

Wow, how did we get caught up in this mess? We don't have drama in our lives. This isn't us.

*Initials of names may be changed for legal reasons/protection.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

House Trouble

Holy macaroni people! Don't clear your conditions on the house, buy our house, then come back and say "oh, our house sale fell through, so we can't afford to buy your house now."

You signed a contract that you would buy our house. What are you, new?

Seriously? Seriously! Arg!

If you give us a new confirmed date, then we can bridge finance and still get our house for next week. So do that. Please? Pretty Please?


Have you seen this ad?

I don't get it. Especially the balloon thing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Letter to random people:

-To the lady I almost cut off in the Home Depot parking lot:
Yes, you were on the straightaway, so me almost merging into your lane was my mistake. I apologize for not paying greater attention. But in my defense, you were going about 50 km/h in a parking lot, and you sped of nowhere, so I didn't see you. Plus, my stellar reflexes and defensive driving skills ensured I braked and let you have the right of way. While we're on the subject, perhaps you should evaluate the need to go so fast in a parking lot. Plus, glaring at someone on your right while driving forwards is not the safest way to drive. Eyes on the road, please, not glaring at other drivers. You could have driven into someone else while you were busy glaring at me!

-To the man behind me in line at Starbucks:
I realize you were talking to your wife, but you stood about 5 cm behind me and then loudly said something to your wife. I jumped because you were so close and so loud. I moved forward to give me more room between us. Next time that happens, please don't move forward. I like having a "bubble" of a couple centimetres around my body that I don't like strangers standing in.

-To the old people who live in the old people's apartments off Davis Drive:
If you can't handle driving 20 km/h on a street, you shouldn't be driving. It's a 50 km/h speed limit, and I agree that when children are playing it's better to drive slower than the limit, but 20 km/h for the entire street is too slow. You should not be driving: please be honest with yourself and consider the safety of other. Stop driving.

-To the doctors and family of the above old people:
It's embarassing to tell someone who has driven all their life that they should not drive any longer. It takes away their independence. But how will you feel if they are one of the few old people who kill someone because they confused the brake with the accelerator? Be responsible and do the right thing. And (in my mind) you are just as guilty if the above old person hurts someone while driving.

-To the healthcare agency that runs the "supported individuals home" at the end of my street:
I realize individuals with cognitive and development disabilities deserve dignity in their care. Large hospital-style settings were not ideal, they were impersonal, and they didn't provide adequate or dignified care. But are homes filled with three people who can't do a thing really the answer? On the house on my street, the individuals don't leave their house ever, your staff take out their garbage a full day before garbage day (which is unsightly and smelly), your organization doesn't clear the sidewalk of snow in front of your house (everyone else on the street keeps their sidewalks clear, as per the by-law requirements) and every now and then I walk by and hear the screaming of an upset individual inside. I don't see how that level of care is dignified. There has got to be a better answer.

-To the person who is buying our house:
We did give you last year's property tax information, which was our mistake. But that doesn't mean we're going to "knock money off" our house price. It was couple hundred dollars. The house is just over $200,000. You are concerned about peanuts and grasping at straws when you say the tax price was a selling feature. And you have just diminished our desire to clean the house before we left. We were going to scrub the house clean before we moved out. Now, you can deal with the soap scum in our your tub, and the dust on the stairwell railing. Of course, we won't trash or mistreat the house in any way. But we won't clean it to be spin 'n' span.

Ahh ... I feel a little better. I think I'll do this more often.

Monday, September 21, 2009

What an odd week-end

I played baseball on Saturday in an all week-end tournament. In the last game on Saturday, I took a line drive off my shin (well, my glove had deflected it), which smarted. But Saturday night, it really started to swell. A lot. I was quite worried, actually, so I iced it, then slept with my leg elevated. But Sunday morning, there was still significant edema, so I opted not to play on Sunday. However, in exchange for not playing, I had to look after another girl on the team's baby. Baby Liam was a joy and a delight! So we hung out all day Sunday and watched his mommy and daddy and my husband play baseball.

Our team went to the A finals (like in the mid-season tournament). Unlike in the mid-season tournament, we lost to the same team we beat earlier in the year. It was too bad, but it was a good day. I wished I was played, but I doubt my team missed me! I'm very good defensively, but I can't hit to save my life. And I'm not being modest: I batted 0 for 7 or 8 on Saturday. That's right, I never got safe at first. Boo!

Anyway, the shin's swelling today is down, and in its place is an awful bruise. Bruises are manageable, and in this case expected. I am so happy that it's healing, and will probably spend the next week or two mesmerized by the colours my shin will change!

I'm still on the job hunt - I probably will be for at least a month. I'm not worried yet, and I'm sending out plenty of resumes. But at what point will I get frustrated?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Vibrating Items (no, not those types of "items")

I posted this on my "other blog:

(I found out about this via Ellen. Is this not hilarious?!)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Job Applications

There aren't a lot of jobs posted right now. Frankly, the economy's not that bad in my part of the world. My city's main employers are a large hospital (actually three affiliated regional hospitals and a regional cancer research centre), two universities, one college, the province and the federal government. These are not employers particularly hit by the economic downturn.

There are employers in the area that have done some small lay-offs. But not many. However, many employers are being frugal, because of the economy. Frankly, most of them are using the economy as an excuse to be conscientious of spending. It's never bad for a company to be frugal, but it wasn't been popular when the economy was booming. Now it's not, and companies are being over-zealous in their reigning in the spending.

And so no one is posting hiring. But I need a job.

Yesterday, I mailed letters to five firms. Today, I mailed off another five. Tonight, I'll do another six. And in a few weeks, I'll follow-up by calling them. Anything I can do to improve my strategy?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fund-raising for a no-kill animal shelter!

A local-ish humane society shelter has a neat fund-raiser: they have a local artist who will paint your pet, and the cost of the painting supports the shelter! How great is that! They're a no-kill shelter, which means they won't euthanize healthy animals, so their costs are much higher to keep the animals comfortably housed and well fed.

Please go here to see the artwork!

What a neat idea! I love creative fund-raising ideas like this.


I had an awful panic attack last night. Actually, it wasn't as bad as they can be; it was an average panic attack. But all panic attacks are awful. Yuck. Fortunately, I don't have them often. At the time of the panic attack, they're scary. But they're really just annoying because they're so disruptive to me. And they scare the bejezus out of my husband - he can't do anything to help. I sometimes scream or yell. I use relaxation techniques to end it earlier, and usually holding me while I try to relax helps, so if my husband is there, I ask him to hold me. But sometimes, when they're bad, I will run up and down the stairs to try to tire my body, in the (futile) hope of tiring my brain, too. So I just tell him what I'm going to do and what I need him to do.

Yuck. And for the record, I don't mean "panicking", I mean a panic attack. The first couple times I had a panic attack, I thought I was having a heart attack. Once I learned what I was experiencing, coping became better. I know I'm not dying; I know I'm physically fine; my breathing is not affected; I don't actually panic. But the racing heart, sweating, extreme distress, trembling, etc, are not alleviated by the fact that I know I'm physically fine. Grr. They only ever occur in the evening, almost always when I'm in bed.

Go to wikipedia or the CMHA to learn more. What they describe is typical panic attacks. I don't think I'm going to die: in fact, I know I'm not going to die, so that is not anything for me to worry about. I don't have schizophrenia at this point (Thank God), but it can appear later in life, too. Also, I don't have agoraphobia or any other phobias. In fact, I love social situations and thrive in them. So I don't fit the "classic symptoms" of a panic attack in that way.

They only affect my life if I start having them frequently. If I have a couple in the same week, I start to worry / get anxious I'll have more. Then, in a self-fulfilling prophecy, I usually have more. And that just sucks. Because I always have them at night, in bed, my sleep can suffer.

But I haven't had a panic attack in months before last night (Thank God) and I have no reason to suspect more will be coming. I'll be more vigilant in relaxation techniques before bed and not get anxious about it.

Does anyone else who reads my blog have any mental health issues? I don't mean to ask "are you crazy?". I don't consider myself crazy, at least not in the clinical sense! If you would like to comment anonymously, please feel free to do so! Mental health is so taboo, but it's nothing to be ashamed about. The more we talk about it, the more we break down stigmas. Please share!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Adoption (of doggies)

We have applied to adopt this dog.

She's about a year old, a rescue from a shelter in Kentucky (presumably a kill shelter) and we have been jumping through hoops to apply for her.
  • First, we submitted a four page application for her.
  • Then we had a 20 minute phone interview.
  • Then our four references were called and interviewed. (First question: if you were a dog, would you want Krista and Wade to be your owners?)
  • Next we have a home visit to verify our home is acceptable for a dog.
  • Then, if she's still available, we drive 2+ hours to go meet her (she's being fostered just over 2 hours away from here).
If only all pet owners - and for that matter parents - were screened like this. There would be many more happy, healthy pets and children! Pet ownership is not an easy thing: there are many challenges, and you must be prepared for this. Pets pee inside, they can exhibit aggression or other negative behaviours, they might challenge you. You have to train the dog, teach it acceptable manners and behviours, put it in its place if it becomes aggresive or challenges you, exercise it, spend money on veterinary care.

Don't get me wrong, the work is worth it. But you get what you put in. You have to constantly address behaviours so they don't become bad dogs. For example, my parent's dog can be dominant, and while my parents are very good at addressing dominant behaviours, she used to challenge me now and then. So I have to show her that I'm "dominant" over her. She rarely challenges me now, but when she was younger she did. She clearly thought, "You don't live here. Who do you think you are? I'm higher than you in this family!" So I had to show her that I may not live there, but I'm higher than her in the hierarchy. Dogs are pack animals. If you don't establish yourself in a pack hierarchy, you risk dominant or aggressive behaviours. And we're prepared to work to teach the dog, but definitely to love the dog.

Wish us luck!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Random Thought of the Day

Why is cottage cheese called cottage cheese? It has nothing to do with cottages ... unless it has to do with what it would look like if you're at the cottage and you leave the sour cream out of the fridge. I figure that would be about the same consistency as cottage cheese.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dear Michael's

I would just like to protest over your sales. Why were all your picture frames on sale last week for 40% off, but then they were all 50-55% off this week? I bought a frame last week, for a beautiful wedding picture, thinking it was a good deal. Then this week, you're on sale for more! And do you think I can find my receipt? No, of course not! I can find receipts from items purchased two months ago, but nothing from last week. Why do you tempt me with sales, only to put it on for sale for more the next week? Are you mean? Do you enjoy subjecting me to cruel and unusual punishment? Why would you do such a thing?

And while we're on the subject of sales, your "Michael's only" brand frames are made by someone else. Of course they are. I know it, you know it, and many of your customers know it. Just like Kenmore (Sears's "own" brand) is in fact made by other manufacturers, so too are your pictures frames. For example, the picture frames I love are made by Uniek (as one can discover by reading the price tag code). Beautiful frames. The 5x7" of my favourite frame costs $25.99. At 40% off, that cost me $15.60 plus taxes. Now at half off, I'd have saved another $2.60. That's not a lot of money, but it is another coffee.

And another thing. The exact same frames I like, made by Uniek, are sold at Walmart under the Uniek brand name for $12.50. Meaning that, even compared to Michael's 50% off, Walmart is still cheaper, which I hate to admit because, well, Walmart doesn't have the best business practices when it comes to purchasing from suppliers. [Although their health & safety measures for local workers are phenomenal, so that kind of makes up for it.]

So, buying another copy of the same frame I like from Walmart saved me another $0.50. Again, not much, but it's the principle. Those 40% off and 50% off sales and/or coupons aren't looking so appealing when the regular price at Walmart is better than your best price.

And I'm not even going to get into the scrapbooking supplies! Walmart now carries all the same companies you carry (K&Company, Martha Stewart, Jolie's, etc), at cheaper. The only downside is Walmart is filled with Walmart shoppers. But I can put up with the crazies for their better prices.

So, Michael's, in summary, as much as I love you (and I do) I just wanted to let you know that sometimes you're a bum. (And I mean it in the nicest way possible.) I will still shop at you. But, unfortunately, I will never again look at you with puppy dog eyes, eager to please and smitten with love. We'll still be friends, but our relationship will never be the same again.


A loving customer
who has literally spend thousands of dollars at your fine establishment

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day 1 of unemployment

Today, I:
-slept in a bit
-applied to a job with the Government of Canada
-got groceries
-contacted our internet provider for our move
-thought about doing some dishes ... then decided against it (for now)
-thought about going appliance shopping (might still happen this afternoon ... we do need appliances for our new house)
-watched the news
-thought about what places I should cold call

Well ... not particularly productive. I'll have to improve my efficiency in the next few days!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy Labour Day!

Once again, we have a busy week-end. Yesterday, we saw the Toronto Blue Jays play the Yankees at the Skydome. The Jays lost, unfortunately, but it was a good game. The Jays hit a homerun near us: if you have really good vision you can see us in this video. Go ahead, click on it to watch the video, please!

Didn't see us? Well, in this still image (click on it to make it bigger, and you'll see us inside the red circle):
Facing us, I was to the left of Wade. I have a white hat on, Wade's wearing a white Blue Jays jersey. We're celebrities. We're famous! (Haha, I don't think so ... but it is neat.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Well, things could be worse . . .

. . . But it still hurts when you find out you've been laid off.

That's what I found out last week. I've been asked to work out the notice time period, so I'm doing that with the best effort I can.

I'm working a contract for a utility that was to end at the end of November. I had been assured repeatedly (after asking my boss point-blank) that my contract would not be ended early. I was assured there was work for me to do. Evidently, there just isn't money to pay me.

I'm not bitter, but I'm a little annoyed. But that's not constructive. I'm working off the next week until my contract ends and starting to look for a job. If you hear of any Environmental, Health and Safety related jobs, or any jobs that will apply to someone with an undergraduate degree in Life Sciences (anatomy, genetics, pharmacy, toxicology, etc) or a graduate degree in Health Sciences / Public Health (occupational health, environmental health, health & safety, epidemiology, etc.), let me know!