Another year way beyond awesome.

I have no idea how in the hell she manages to do it, but on both of the birthdays I’ve been around for, she’s managed to make herself appear just a little bit more inteligent, and little bit more relaxed, and just all around a little bit more the girl I love than the year before. Yeah, call me a sap if it makes ya feel better. I think some part of her can see she’s getting a little more like… herself, and a little used to the fact things aren’t quite as bad as they were. Maybe someday she’ll be able to look back on the craptasticness she’s been through and laugh her ass off about it. God only knows I probably will when I think it’s okay to. But for now, happy birthday, Jessica. You’re half a mile closer to supreme awesomeness than you realize. Or probably want me to admit to, but there just went that restriction.

This has been an all too rare extreme personal blog entry, brought to you by the date, and the fact she has absolutely no idea I’m doing it. And now, back to helping her with supper on the night before her birthday.

The new blog on the corner.

I’ve been trying to convince Jessica to get back into the whole blogging thing for, well, ever. I’ve even gone so far as to threaten her in various ways using various methods. She just wouldn’t budge. Until now. After offering to host her very own non-LJ blog, it running on the same software that powers this one, she’s decided to toss herself back into writing mode. And now, after much consideration given to where she wishes to call her new online home, I give you the nuthouse. It’s still largely under construction, and I’ll be helping her for a while get things to be exactly the way she wants them, but for the moment, it’s operational and mostly fully functioning. Drop in and give her a read at some point–and please do be kind.

Also, for those of you who have her LJ on your friends lists, I’ve set her up to crosspost to LJ in a way similar to what I’m doing, so you’re still able to follow her with a minimal amount of actual effort on your part. Hey, I’m lazy too. I know how it goes. And it goes kinda like this. So enjoy. Maybe wave hello. And don’t forget to leave your valuables here when you leave.

Snap your fingers and it’s Sunday.

As expected, Jessica’s graduation went off absolutely with no problem whatsoever. She got her diploma, we got a picture, and everyone got to relax a little afterwards with something alcoholic and good conversation. We hit a local bar after the cerimony for a drink or two, and to do some general talking/venting/otherwise unstressing, before coming back to the apartment and crashing. We took it easy on Friday, the only thing going on being Jess having had to do that earning money thing–I’ll never understand why it is that can’t just go away for a day. The evening was spent around the apartment, not really doing a whole lot. There was, of course, the usual talking, relaxing, and being all kinds of glad the routine gets to change for the better. Saturday was the interesting part of the weekend.

Since the beginning of the week, I’d been planning to have a private get together among friends in honour of Jessica’s graduation from massage school. She’d worked her ass off for the past year and a half or so, and didn’t have time to do a lot of that while she was doing it. So I sent a few emails around, made a phone call or two, and got a couple of Jess’s closest friends–and, conveniently enough, folks I’m becoming quite good friends with as well–onboard for our own version of a grad cerimony. That happened last night. The morning was spent at Wallmart, picking up what little odds and ends we needed throughout the week. After that, the only thing we did other than generally cleaning up was making a run for alcohol. And, after $52 and some change was handed over, we had the keys to some goodly awesomeness.

Julie and her husband came over at about half past 3, and after spending about an hour just shooting the shit, we cracked open the booze. Before all too long we’d gotten to the point where we were feeling more than a little relaxed. And when that happens, the randomness knows no limits. We did everything from vent about our respective employment or lack thereof, to mocking certain less fortunate people who weren’t here–thank god–to defend themselves, to even tossing out opinions, thoughts and points of view on the government and its benefit or lack thereof to the average joe. They left early, and Jess and I did a bit more drinking and talking. We expanded on a few of the points brought up, and actually had a very nice little debate going on–I kind of wish I could have recorded it. I think in parts of the conversation we got a little bit too caught up, but hey, that’s bound to happen when you’ve got two very opinionated people in the same room with alcohol.

It was well after midnight by the time she fell asleep. I went and flopped over about half an hour or so after by rough estimation–I wasn’t exactly keeping track of the time last night. It was well into the afternoon, about 2:00 or so, before we were both up and mobile for the day. I don’t think awake came until later, though. Today’s been spent pretty well recovering from that. The most exhausting task on our to do list at the moment is laundry, and that’s being done now. We leave for Canada again on Thursday, Jessica’s birthday is on Tuesday, and Wednesday’s probably going to be spent packing and maybe stealing an hour or two’s sleep. As for the rest of the week, I have absolutely no idea what if anything we can safely say we have planned. Maybe we’ll get lucky and plans will invent themselves. In the meantime, here’s the picture we got from Jessica’s graduation. It was taken on a cell phone, so quality may end up sucking slightly. Enjoy, or something. Look ma, no hands!

It’s kind of like Christmas morning.

I guess it’s made that much more appropriate by the weather we’re having outside right now. Since late-ish last night, I’ve been more and more looking forward to events scheduled to take place tonight. Roughly 12 hours from now, Jessica will have graduated from a year and a half of massage therapy training, and be just that much closer to being a therapist licensed for work in New York state. Which, conveniently enough, will put her just that much closer to being ready to get herself licenced for work in Ontario. I could tell, even if she wasn’t exactly awake enough when she got home last night to show it, that she was very much excited–and, though she’d never admit it, probably a little nervous–about tonight. The sad part of it is, I think I might be more excited than she is. I hung around in bed last night while she slept, not actually managing to get that far myself. About 2 and a half hours later, I got up and killed an hour or so on Twitter–hey, random socialization with all manner of strange people has its benefits, okay? When I finally did catch some sleep, it was all too brief–really, only about 2.5 to 3 hours, but it felt like less. And when I got up, you could have told me it was Christmas morning and I’d of believed it.

We’d both been looking forward to this pretty much since it started. I know as it got closer she was a little more stressed than usual. This was kind of her thing–what she’d set herself up to do, and not much was going to change her mind. Something you could be proud of, especially when you considered it had a lot of areas that prior to this course she considered weaknesses. I suppose, in a way, it kind of is our Christmas morning. After tonight, she’ll have her free time back. At least until she takes the board exam and starts working. Which means, for the next couple weeks, we’ll have our free time back. Yeah, I guess it kind of is like Christmas morning after all. And if you look at it like that, the fact it’s snowing yet again outside doesn’t piss me off quite as much as it probably should. I’ll take it.

Weekend randomness, and ODSP is ultra evil.

The latter is obvious to anyone who’s actually using the service, but I’ll get to that momentarily. Jess and I spent the majority of this weekend thus far kicked back and relaxing. She graduates on Thursday, so we’re sort of trying to gear up for that. Also, because we haven’t really had a weekend where we can just sort of not do a whole lot of anything that often since I came down here. Friday was taken up largely with music, dancing, awesome food and a little alcohol. We turned the majority of her living room into a dance floor, and just had ourselves a slow dance or 4. We ordered from a new–to me, anyway–restaurant,

There was a weekend. I had it.

And, not surprising in the least, it was a fun one. It started on Friday evening, when Jessica, Julie, her husband and I headed out for a bit of their last minute Christmas shopping. Of course, mine was, historically, finished before December. Afterwards, supper was had at the local Cracker Barel–there’s something to be said for random get togethers with awesome food and things of a mock-worthy nature. We didn’t end up getting home until closer to 10:00 or so, and by then I think we were both sort of contemplating falling over.

Saturday was largely spent around the apartment. Jessica had her last clinnic of the year, and as usual, owned the hell out of it. We sat around afterwards, talking and grabbing supper. I started actually reading the “In Death” series by J.D. Rob, which she pretty well already read most of. Pondering getting hammered, or at least tipsy, we decided to take a random walk up to the booze store about half an hour before it closed. Of course, as Murphy would have it, by the time we got back we were a little more tired than we expected we’d be so only ended up having a shot, then doing the vodka and coke thing.

A large part of Sunday was spent with Julie and her husband again, going out for breakfast where yet more random bouts of hillarity took place. Was starting to think maybe the folks at the restaurant we chose to occupy were wondering exactly how insane we all were. And I think we’d of been more than happy to tell them if they’d ask. There was a wallmart trip, an interesting time with our shopping assistant during said wallmart trip–certain individuals just should not be doiong work in the customer service field. We came back here, put shit away, invented supper, and called it a relaxing evening. There was a crap ton of conversation involved all weekend, and random antics with interesting and humourous qualities at the expense of others who had the misfortune of not actually getting to be there. But, that’s half the fun.

It’s a little more than 2 weeks until Jess graduates, and a little more than 3 before we kick it up back to the right side of the border. If things keep going the way they’ve been the last few weeks, I may have to have someone tap me on the shoulder to remind me my time’s nearly up. But until then, well, there will be plenty more random acts of insanity. Possibly illegal, definitely barely legal, and more asuredly laugh-inducing. As for right now… off to see a girl about a well-spent evening. Or… something along those lines.

Also: One of these days, I’m coming up with a Rochester category. Just not right now.

They sure don’t do Christmas like we do Christmas.

About 2 weeks ago now, I packed up my things and got me on a bus across the border to Rochester. The plan, which is coming to fruition ever so slowly, was to be here for Jessica’s graduation, as well as her birthday, plus the already passed thanksgiving, and then bring her back with me for Christmas at home. While I was down here, I thought we’d do a thing or two here to maybe enjoy the holiday festivities a little, since starting about this Sunday or so, we’ll both have the time to do so.

So I looked up my trusty goog, and did some poking. At the same time I was dooing that, there was a small band playing Christmas music almost directly outside my window. They only played a few songs, but it definitely helped a fair bit to set the mood. Add to that, a few horses pulling wagons made their way past the building. My googling took me straight to the cause.

Sixteenth Annual
PARK AVENUE
HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE
Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
5 to 9 p.m.

Well now. That might have been interesting to see. The description is perhaps vaguely similar to the Park Avenue Festival held here every August or so, with businesses demonstrating what they have to offer while playing host to various forms of entertainment. Certainly not something I’m used to seeing in December.

Folks here in Rochester do love their festivals. Every couple months you catch wind of one it seems like. Pembroke’s the same way to a point, but the rules rewrite themselves come December. Where Rochester has all kinds of live performances, theater, and other activities, back home it’s all about the parade. Petawawa had one in mid-November. Pembroke had one a week or two later. There were like 3 or 4 in Ottawa throughout the course of the month, and probably into December. Toronto usually has a huge one. You usually can’t turn a corner without either running into one or seeing an ad for one. This festival something’s not what I’m used to, but admittedly, it’s a fairly nice change–I rather enjoyed being able to open my window, listen to them playing, and not have to stand there to do it.

They sure don’t do Christmas like we do Christmas. But they don’t do it too bad either.

The return of the pot-smelling basement.

My apartment in Ottawa had its moments of sheer and utter amusement. Not the least of which is the lower floor that, after about midnight or so, took on a decidedly potlike quality. Usually I only happened to notice because I was, as always, up at that hour–only doing laundry instead of my usual routine of, well, doing nothing. Of course there was the lazy and plenty of it, but it wasn’t *all* lazy.

I’d actually gotten used to not being able to giggle amusedly at the fact some poor fool was pretty much baking his brain on a day when most folks would be considering maybe existing just enough to think about going to work. Then I decided to come down to Rochester.

Jess and I were in the midst of getting done with the week’s laundry, and were distracted with talking so much that I didn’t immediately notice, but when we did, I had to keep myself from bursting out laughing in the middle of the hallway. Right there, in my girlfriend’s apartment building’s basement, the potlike quality made its reappearance. My regular source of amusement didn’t abandon me, it just moved in with Jessica. The mocking shall resume.

Thanksgiving in a paragraph, or maybe two.

It isn’t very often the whole group of us gets together for a dinner or anything like that, so when it happens it tends to get all kinds of interesting. Tonight’s thanksgiving get together was no different. We all–Jessica, Julie, her husband, Tasha and myself–headed over to a friend and coworker’s place for the evening. There was a huge helping of all kinds of hilarity to go with the equally awesome spread she put out. It’s only the third or so such gathering I got to attend–the others being last year.

As per usual, we had the traditional fixings–turkey, dressing, all but the pumpkin pie. And there was the nontraditional aspect of it as well. Until I came down here last year I hadn’t the faintest idea they thought of green bean casserole as part of the usual routine. I hadn’t had it before, and of course going back this year I had to steal some more.

Now, while I try very hard not to explode all over my girlfriend’s couch, I’m once again mooching off her wireless while we both do the email and such thing. I don’t have the slightest clue what tomorrow has in store, but I can about guarantee it’ll involve the skipping of at least one meal. As for right now? I’m off to explode.

I am so here.

As the title says, I made it here intact and about 5 minutes ahead of schedule. We were supposed to be in by quarter past midnight, but ended up actually pulling in at about 10 past, give or take delays. Most of Friday night was spent being all manner of lazy, and just catching up. Well, that and sleeping. Yesterday consisted of hanging with Julie and her husband for the better part of the evening. We came to the not too surprising realization that as a general rule, blindness organizations suck for anything beyond good PR. Not that we didn’t already know this, but y’know. Shooting the shit with them lasted a couple hours before we packed it up and headed back to Jess’s apartment. There was sleep to be had, and a nice, healthy dose of relaxation. And the random conversation among other things didn’t hurt matters any either. Today’s been relatively low key–most of it was spent doing not a whole lot, and now we’re sort of contemplating exactly how much effort to put towards dinner.

I did get a chance to show off the new phone this weekend–the same phone that approximately half this post was written on before the battery finally gave out, and the general consensus matches mine–the phone, in all its unvelieveable thinness, still kicks wicked ass. Folks who follow my Twitter feed will note I was able to update multiple times throughout the trip, even on the US side of the border. I happened to be on one of Greyhound’s attempts at a newer bus–and, let’s say, it could use some improvements in the leg room department. But, aside from that It’s not half bad. I stole their wireless connection after we crossed the border, and proceed to IM with random people as we were heading out of Buffalow. I still owe an assessment of the phone, and it’ll happen later on this week, if I remember. But as for now, the girlfriend’s up to her ears in housework, and I’m off to maybe attempt assistance without breakage. I’ll do hockey recaps later, also if I remember. In the meantime, have a Sunday evening.

Christmas shopping, round 2.

Not unlike my last attempt at Christmas shopping, the trip overall resulted in one mall, store, and small kiosk after another. But, I managed to accomplish more than I expected with this trip–though, certainly not everything I planned. I scratched off Christmas gifts for my father, as well as Jessica. And, of course, because it’s very easy to pick up on things mom’s contemplating getting for herself, I came away with a crap ton of ideas for her–which, the plan is, to attempt to pick up before I leave for Rochester on Friday. At that point, I will have actually, for perhaps the second time in my life, accomplished the task of getting my shopping done before December even gets here. That almost never happens–a trait I come by honestly from my dad, who this year will likely be again cruising the stores looking for one last gift idea on December 24th. All that leaves me to do after that is come back on the 23rd, and enjoy Christmas, hopefully being accompanied by Jessica. Even if I wanted to, I don’t think I could find something to complain about with that. Now, if we could just get December to show up a little bit sooner.

Christmas shopping is a sport for the insane.

Not unlike any other kind of shopping, should you happen to live somewhere like, say, Ottawa. But in this case, it’s even more so. I’ve been spending the better part of the last couple days trying to do exactly that. I’ve been getting suggestions and ideas for christmas gifts for most members of my family, and actually picking things up for a few of them. It hasn’t gotten December quality insane yet, but it’s come awefully close a time or two. So far, I’ve managed gifts for my brother and sister-in-law, a gift for my nephew, and a couple things for Jessica. This week will be even more insane as I manage, somehow, to do anything and everything under the bloody sun. I have Christmas shopping to finish, gifts to aquire, wrap, and appropriately hide, and last minute arangements to make for Jess’s grad gift in a couple weeks–all before my Friday departure. And in the process of doing all this, I have a sneaking suspicion I’m about to come to a potentially very startling realization. If this were to happen more than once a year, there’d be a lot fewer beds in the local psych ward. Possibly not a bad thing. Possibly.

How’d I get here?

I keep threatening to do that post about what the hell happened to me since the last time I was actively blogging (Um, LJ-ing, perhaps?). Well, consider this my attempt at doing so. I’ll warn you in advance there will probably be things that get missed–it *has* been about 4 months, after all.

For starters, there were more than a few trips across the Canada/US border between myself and Jessica, who’s rarely updated LJ is over here for anyone who doesn’t already read her. Things in that department I don’t think can get much better. Well, beyond the elimination of the border but eh, that’s coming. Beyond that, I’ve been doing a lot more experimentation with Gentoo, my for the moment linux distribution of choice. I’d messed around very briefly with Debian and Ubuntu, but couldn’t get quite what I wanted out of those distributions. That, plus I rather like a challenge and Gentoo definitely provides that. I kept an old HP laptop around for the purposes of experimentation–and, actually, it was the same laptop I did most of my blogging on in the old days–so I can break it 6 ways from Sunday and not really be set back more than a couple hours’ tinkering. Works perfectly fine for me. In addition to that, I’ve been continuing to pound pavement in hopes of landing me a job. Not an easy thing to do when every day the unemployment line gets longer, but we manage. This in between trips to catch up with family, because… well, you know, they don’t tend to like it when you avoid them for long stretches at a time.

Then there was the move. I’d spent the last year and a half or so on employment insurance while I looked for work, thus enabling to keep my rather nice–even if I do say so myself–apartment in Ottawa’s west end. Not having found anything though, it became necessary for me to find somewhere else to call home lest I end up going very broke very quickly. So, on October 23rd, everything I own and a few things I forgot I owned got stuffed into one box or another, and carted an hour and a half away to this, a basement apartment who’s upstairs neighbour has perhaps one of the creakiest floors I’ve heard in my life. Now, I’m still looking for work, still finding time to do a little geeking, and still–at least, as of about 2 weeks from yesterday–making trips across the border when I have the time, money and transportation. Not a whole lot has changed, save for my mailing address–which I’m still finding things that didn’t get the notification of that change–and the fact some things in life just plain aren’t as convenient as they were a month ago. But, win some, lose some. That be life.

Once I have the space in this apartment, and everything I’ll immediately need to do so out of boxes and set up, I plan to get back into tweeking the laptop and making things work just that much better. And, with a little luck and a small miracle, it might result in me accidentally coming up on a skill or three I can put in a resume. Never hurts to say you can do something, particularly when that something didn’t require you shell out money you don’t have for a college/university education. Of course, if I don’t get that out of it, then maybe I’ll just have a computer I can use should I ever decide to wipe windows off this one. Either way, I can’t find a down side here.

Well, that’s the summer and part of spring in a nutshell. Not very exciting, just… chaotic, really. Semi-organized chaos, but still. And if this is any indication, the next couple months don’t plan to be any different. Which, surprisingly, is how I like it. Can’t very well go researching new and somewhat impressive things to buy if you don’t have time to, after all.

last weekend, the past week, and what happens when I have free time.

As anyone who follows my twitter feed will probably already know, last weekend went actually quite well with myself and Jessica (samari76). She arived safely on Friday, and we spent the majority of that day just hanging around the apartment, talking. she ended up being a little more tired than she thought she’d be, so she caught a couple hours’ sleep while I came out here to finish up with checking email and the like. We ended up just relaxing and enjoying ourselves for the rest of that evening. I threw together a little something for supper, and we just sort of talked and did a little listening to music. Saturday we slept in a little, and took our time getting to that point most people would call awake. Again, there was more just hanging out, and talking. We ended up ordering out for supper, after which we got into a bottle of lemmon rum I’d picked up a couple days before leaving Pembroke.

It was actually before we started drinking, though, when we got a call that my grandpa had been taken to the Ottawa hospital; he was having issues with his apendix and they weren’t sure if it would require surgery or not. We stayed up most of the night waiting for news, but after being told my parents were enroute to Ottawa just behind him to make sure he was being looked after, we hadn’t heard anything. Trish IMed me at that point to say she hadn’t heard anything new, really, either. We ended up aranging to get together for breakfast the next day, since we’d not hung out in a while anyway and Jess was looking forward to seeing her again. Well, that, plus since we were waiting for information it made more sense to all be in one place when it came in. We ended up going to bed about 4:00 that morning, getting up again at an impressive 9:00. Cabbing it over there, we hung out with Trish, her husband and both her brothers for much of the morning. She made an awesome breakfast, which kind of reminded me a little of something you’d be able to order from any decent restaurant on Jessica’s side of the border. Family started to trickle in shortly after, and we learned he wasn’t actually going to get the surgery right yet; they wanted to see if they couldn’t treat it with antibiotics first, which kind of makes sense to me. I mean, the guy *is* in his 80’s. No sense in putting him through a surgery that may or may not be required. We got to see a goodly portion of my family, though. And Jess got to meet a few people we couldn’t get around to visiting the last time we were both in that neighbourhood. We all sat around and talked, the older guys watching nascar on TV and everyone with something better to do just generally conversating/trying not to hear it. They ordered pizza and wings, some of which we both helped ourselves to (Hey, breakfast was good, but it’s pizza and wings. Come on.). We spent the rest of the day just sort of hanging out. After everyone left, Trish, her husband, both brothers, plus myself and Jessica decided to go and check out one of the local carnivals in town that weekend. We got there just in time for it to start packing up, of course, but at least Jess got to get a brief look at some of what goes on around here this time of year. We didn’t get home until about 9:00 or so, and stayed up for a bit longer just generally talking and the like.

Monday was a very low key day; we didn’t even get dressed until that evening. we just enjoyed our last day together for a while, and recovered sort of from the day before. I took Jess to the bus station that night, and she made it across the border all in one piece, luggage and all. As for me, I went back home and did that thing where I fall into bed until 6 or 7 the next morning. I spent the rest of the week going through my usual routine; looking for work, not finding much, talking to Jess, and occasionally cursing technology. I did eventually finally hear that my grandpa was back home and doing well, the antibiotics seeming to be working thus far, so that was one less thing on my list of things to be paying attention to.

One thing I did finally get around to this week, that I’d been threatening to do before, is installing Gentoo linux on the formerly retired laptop. It actually didn’t take too long when you break it down to time spent actually working on the system; the longest part of it all was the waiting for things to compile. I had it installed and running by yesterday morning, and talking by yesterday afternoon after I learned I missed a step in building the kernel so had to do that all over again. Lovely. I got that fixed up though, and it behaves beautifully now. I ended up playing around with Speakup, one of the screenreading packages available for linux, a bit yesterday and again this morning. Now, I’m waiting for the various Gnome packages to install, including its screenreader, so I can have a little bit of a look at that. Judging by the sheer number of packages that are needing instalation, and the fact they all need to be compiled, this could take a while. In the meantime, I have free time on my hands that I’m sure I’ll put to good use ordering groceries. Or sleeping. Or something. I may or may not have missed something in my update. If I did, I’m sure Jess will remind me… she’s good like that. As for now, though, I’m so gone it’s not funny.

An updatey type thing.

Because I’ve come to the shocking realization that Twitter is not, in fact, sufficient for updating in any amount of significant detail. Well, okay, so I already knew that. Oh well. Not a whole lot of any real significance has gone on of late that needs updating anyway. Spent Victoria day weekend in Pembroke with the family, only getting back just yesterday. And this time, aside from the fact I spent most of the weekend doing free tech support for my father, who’s laptop decided it wanted to spend most of said weekend sideways, it was actually nice and uneventful. Not bad for a long weekend, I dare say. In the last week and a bit, I’ve found a grand total of 2 jobs (including the one I just applied for a few minutes ago). Not bad considering there was a report released not all that long ago saying over 30000 new jobs were created up here. Guess I shouldn’t have expected they’d all be created in my particular industries of choice. Oh well, I’ve still got unemployment insurance.

No sooner did we end our long weekend up here than the folks south of the border are starting theirs. And with Jessica (samari76) having Monday off from class, we decided to spend the long weekend in style. So, she’s presently on a bus and an hour and a half from the station, where I’ll be meeting her. Neither of us likes to make any kind of detailed plans, but I can say the 3 or so days she’s here are going to be enjoyed by both of us. And I do know that one of said days is going to be concluded with the consumption of things alcoholic. Because hey, all the cool kids are doing it. Can’t guarantee we’ll have a whole lot of time for LJ, but you can still keep up with us on Twitter if you’re into that sorta thing (I’m over here, and she’s over here.). I have this nasty habbit of paying more attention to that than LJ lately these days anyway. But today, well, and the rest of the weekend, I’ll actually have a reason. Happy memorial day to those who cellebrate it, belated happy Victoria day to those who cellebrated it, and I’ll catch yall on the flip side.

General updatey goodness, this time from Ottawa! Yay!

Still managed to update in less than a week; something funky must be going on. Last week was pretty uneventful, after my last update with actual substance. Jessica (samari76) has a pretty full schedule, that being primarily work and class, so not a whole hell of a lot was really done short of taking advantage of the time when she wasn’t attending either to catch each other up on what’s going on, and just generally enjoy ourselves. It was still a very wonderful way to spend a vacation. We decided to exclude the usual party crowd this past weekend (well, a third of the usual party crowd was out of town anyway), and on Friday, ordered food and just generally ate, drank and were happy. We had a nice long talk about a lot of things, listened to music, and just… well, for lack of a better way to put it, did the couple thing. Saturday was largely taken up with grocery shopping, picking up what she needed for this week plus a few things for the easter get together at the house of a coworker the next day. We had time left over, so Jess also got herself an MP3 player, which we spent much of that evening playing around with in an attempt to get it to work. Once we did, though, it very quickly became her newest addiction. The next day was, as said, the easter get together. We packed up a few things to cart over, and all manner of good times were had. There was a person or two there with an apparent talent for drama, but they managed to behave themselves rather admirably. At least that day. We managed to stuff ourselves silly, then both to avoid said talented people and attempt to walk some of it off, we decided to head it back home on foot. It was actually a whole lot nicer than the walk we took last Friday coming back from Selina’s, with it being neither cold nor rainy that night. We got back to the apartment, talked for a bit, then crashed like nobody’s business. Monday was back to the grind, so she went back to work and I puttered about with attempting to get things packed for my departure. Once work and class was over with, we stuck around the apartment and talked until it was time to call the cab. Then, at the bus station, we said our goodbyes, and I boarded the bus for my return trip across the border. It was fairly uneventful, with the only minor hick-up being about halfway between Toronto and Ottawa,when the driver (apparently he was new to the job?) was trying to figure out if we were supposed to change buses to go the rest of the way to Ottawa, or just change drivers. Turns out fortunately it was just changing drivers, but still, it was a tiny bit confusing even for the passengers. I got here at about 12:30 yesterday afternoon, and pretty much spent that day getting caught up on email and things. Today was a writeoff thus far, with me sleeping most of it away. And now, I’m posting this thing, finishing my coke, and… contemplating getting my hands on another. I love my visits to that side of the border, but let me tell ya, sometimies, it’s good to be home.

Still around. I think.

Figured I’d break away from tradition a little bit and go *less* than a week since a fairly semi-successful string of updates before starting into the next one. Now hopefully the next one isn’t a week or six after this update. All that really ended up happening since Saturday was exactly what we were sort of expecting to happen. We ordered supper from a local place that does everything from pizza to pasta to subs to burgers to god only knows what else, and proceeded to stuff ourselves silly. Then we cracked open and killed a bottle of vanilla vodka (mixed, of course; we’re alcoholics, not suicidal). A lot of talking, generally about whatever, ended up happening that night. As well as a slow dance or few, because well, we do that kinda thing when our random selection of music decides to play something one can slow dance to. All told, Jess didn’t end up going to bed until about 6:30 or so on Sunday morning. I stayed up to finish my drink, then joined her about an hour or so later. Sunday was pretty much recovery. The only real productive thing that was done ended up being a run to the grocery store for afore mentioned things on which we were running low. Other than that, very little was done that didn’t involve cleaning house. I was eventually able to substitute JAWS for Window Eyes on this machine (Thanks, Krista (squeaky88)!). And that was about as technical asI felt like being post-alcohol. There was RP to be had, and there was recovery time to be had. And then there was this morning. Jess made her return to work, I scouted teh intarwebz for employment, which of course doesn’t exist. And now, Jess should be on her way home, so I’m gonna go do that thing where I do stuff in time for her to get here. Or something.

And now an actual update. Yay substance!

Not that a whole lot really went on since the last time I posted something that wasn’t a link, but y’know. Jessica (samari76) and I are still finding plenty of ways to have all kinds of good times over here. Tuesday it involved a tiny little sellebration here at home of her last test result in class, since the nice little coffee shop we wanted to go to apparently closed an hour earlier than we thought it did. Oops. Although, to be fair, I thought it did but could never really remember. So we just sat around here and cooked something up for foodage.

Wednesday was sort of a personal day of sorts, with us not really doing a whole lot beyond being awake. Mostly because it was just generally all manner of craptastical outside to the point of not really knowing whether or not our rather chaotic weather paterns were coming or going. We did decide, though, that since local weather was being a royal bitch and making it difficult for us to really enjoy ourselves in any kind of relaxing manner outside our own apartment, the first nice day or two we actually came across would be taken full advantage of.

That would be Thursday, and the advantage would be taken with a walk for coffee that couldn’t be obtained the day before, or the night before that. We got ourselves a couple peppermint lattes (she in a moment of insanity got an ice latte, poor girl), and killed pretty close to an hour I’d imagine just sitting outside at the coffee shop talking and the like. We headed it back here, and I made an attempt at getting her computer to play nice with, like, everything while she got herself ready for and wandered on over to class. I eventually managed to convince this thing that yes, in fact, there are other ways of solving problems aside from choking horribly on itself and dying right before my very nonfunctional eyes.

Friday was the sellebration we were planning on having earlier in the week, only we went all out with this one. It started at about 9:00 or so, when we headed to the Cracker Barrel for breakfast. We spent the morning there, stuffed ourselves silly, did a little browsing, then sat outside for about an hour talking while we waited for our lift back home. Once back home, we thought about doing a real quick grocery run seeing as we were running a little low on a few things. And then promptly decided it could bloody well wait, and spent the afternoon fighting with food coma instead. We did manage to recover from that, and both of us were in a mood for Mexican. So, a 25 minute walk later, we were up at the school where Jessica’s taking her massage therapy course (also where she is right now), which has on its downstairs level a quite deliciously awesome mexican place called Selina’s (spelling may be off, but I could care less). An idea roughly of exactly how good the place is: it was packed as hell, to the point where when we did manage to get there (7:30 or so), they were predicting wait times of upwards of an hour and a quarter. We ended up not actually waiting that long, which was good, since we weren’t looking forward to the prospect of it being within eyesight of 11:00 before we found our way back home.

It had been raining a fair bit when we walked up, but we were sort of halfway hoping it’d manage to let up when we were looking to come back. So we weren’t overly concerned about the walk back, seeing as even if it hadn’t really let up, it was still fairly nice out there, rain or not. The food there was, of course, holy fucking awesome. We thought about dessert, but only for maybe about 30 seconds. And instead, we asked for the bill.

The walk back was when things started to get really interesting. Instead of letting up as we’d originally thought it would, it was actually raining a little harder, I think. It had gotten a bit cooler as well, but that was both to be expected and nothing we hadn’t prepared for. Problem is, it kept cooling. All told, by the time we got home, not only was Jess freezing, but I think so was the rain. I don’t think I’ve been out in weather like that, particularly in April, in a very long time. And I could probably stand to go another very long time before doing it again. I don’t mind the cold, but I so wasn’t dressed for freezing rain and possibly snow. Which, according to some friends this morning, is precisely what we were getting hammered with when Jess took off at 8:00 for her all-day clinnic. And by the sounds of things right now, the crap factor outside has yet to do any sort of actual improving.

On the bright side, we did get a lot of things accomplished this past week, including my attempt at installing Freedom Scientific‘s JAWS for Windows screenreader, only to discover neither she nor I realized she was running XP pro. I don’t have an authorization key for XP pro. That plan’s been put on hold until such time as we can price out what it would cost, or… um… otherwise obtain a key for JAWS to run on XP pro. Other than that, though, there was a lot accomplished on a personal front as well. We were kind of using this past week or so as a means of getting to know each other even better than we already do. This relationship thing’s still fairly new to me, so I’m still sort of learning my way around as I go. I’m sure she is too, which probably is what makes it easy. I haven’t the slightest idea what if anything we have planned for tonight, or even if we’re going to make an attempt to bother so much as stepping outside in that mess. But I do know there’s still a thing or 6 we both kind of decided we want to do before I go running off to Ottawa again. So if not today, then definitely at some point this coming week, there will be some kind of hell raised. What that actually translates to on a productivity front is anyone’s guess, but… oh well. So I won’t win any awards. I’ll live.

My girlfriend is awesome. And, the job market may suck slightly less today.

Or maybe not, but work with me here, dammit. Jessica (samari76) just kicked the royal shit out of her latest test, but I’ll let her tell whoever she pleases all the gory details of that one. And in slightly more w00t style news, I can has repeat job opportunity plz? I wrote a while back about a job I’d applied for with a company owned by Momentus ltd, that I of course ended up not getting (stupid being overqualified and all that crapola). They told me then to keep an eye out, as they’d probably be looking to fill positions in the not too distant future that my qualifications would be more suited for. I wouldn’t call it necessarily a position needing to be filled in the *immediate* future, but… hey, 8 months later isn’t half bad in today’s economy. This one’s actually labled as a tech support job, so we shall see if that makes it automaticly within my realm of qualifications/abilities/skills/whatever and go from there. As for right now, Jess should be just about done with class and on her way home, and from there, I do believe we have some cellebrating to do.

Still alive, or at least breathing.

As anyone who’s been following the previously linked twitter page knows, I made it to Rochester in one piece on Friday. Got in at about 12:30 or quarter to 1 saturday morning, and pretty much hung out around here for a couple hours talking. We caught a few hours’ sleep, and when the actual morning got around to being here, Jessica (samari76), Tasha and I headed it into Wallmart to pick up a few things. There was some talking and generous amounts of coffee to be had, as well as your typical grocery run. We managed to pick up a lot for our use during the week, and lugged it all back here to be appropriately tossedaway. We also picked up various items for an eventual get-together at Candice’s (acorna_cat), which ended up happening later that night.

Tasha went back to her place and we flaked out here for a few hours, before we had to go over to Julie’s fiance’s place to meet up with them, and her fiance’s best man to go over wedding stuff. Or, rather, the idea *was* to go over wedding stuff, but it ended up being largely a shop talk session instead. Absolutely thrilled Jessica to no end, let me tell ya. Pizza was had, things were suggested and debated, and at about half past 8 or so we shoved off to go to the after party party at Candi’s. By this point Tasha had already been there for a while, and they’d managed to eat something too. Jess started putting together her natcho dip so we could all manage to pull off a proper dessert. She wasn’t overly thrilled with how it turned out, but it actually wasn’t as bad as she thought it was. Of course we had to spend like 5 minutes debating that, because… well, we could. There was a not entirely unreasonable amount of drinking involved, until it came around to truth or dare time (I owe you, by the way, Candice. :P). I had a feeling things were going to get interesting after that, and when we started getting into taking shots, I already had a sneaking suspicion that evening was pretty much over. Maybe an hour or two after that, Jessica was passed out where we’d be sleeping, and Candi and I were trying to convince Tasha that she was, in fact, not about to become the endless fountain of puke she’d apparently invisioned.

I was slightly buzzed, Jess was what I call sleepily drunk, Tasha was… well, Tasha, and Candi… she was done. Like wo. After we finally managed to get Tasha to calm down, the best thing for everyone to do at that point was to pass out. So that’s pretty much what we did. I didn’t move until a little after 10 or so Sunday morning, and that was only because our ride was coming to get us between then and 11 or so. When all was said and done and we were packing to leave, 3 of us had hang overs and all of us were doing some serious wtf-ing. We got back here and pretty much wrote off the rest of the day, sleeping for most of it and being barely awake for the rest. By about 8:00 we decided we’d about had enough of that, so got up and ended up ordering pizza.

By this point, we hadn’t heard anything from Tasha, and we knew Candi wasn’t gonna be doing a whole lot of being useful, so we tried getting a hold of the former. She wasn’t answering her phone, so we figured she was either still sleeping or… well… done with the world. We sat around talking for the better part of the night, and about midnight or so, decided to take a random walk just for the sake of randomly walking. So we hit up the local 711, got us a couple coke slurpees, and found ourselves somewhere to sit and talk for a bit. It was still bordering in too damn cold though, so we brought our act back to the apartment and kept on talking and generally goofing off until, oh, it must have been 7 or 8 or so before we decided to do that thing where we pass out. She got up once to try again and call Tasha, but other than that, we didn’t move until upwards of 2:00 or so. Not much was accomplished here so far; leftover pizza was finished, Jess went to class, and now we’re both just generally sitting here and doing that thing where we curse technology. At some point this week, I’m thinking I might switch out screenreaders for her, and convert her to Tech Hit‘s OutTwit plugin for Outlook and Twitter. As for now, though? … I’ll decide that when I get there. Jessica’s back from class, and looks very much like she could use a little tlc. Off to go do that and shtuff.

PS: Email is working. Sort of. IM won’t be. Deal with it.

PPS: Dear mother nature, pick a temperature already plz. I can has stability? Kthx.

Coming up on go time, and…

… I’ve done pretty much everything but the dishes. Tears me up inside to let them go, it does. Really. Ah well, it’s not like they’re going anywhere while I’m gone, in the event I run out of time. As for right now, I’m waiting on only two things. A whole 3 sweaters to hurry up and dry already, and my wheels. As soon as I have both, she be go time. For the next two weeks or so, any further updating to this here thing will be happening from the dark side. Anyone wanting to follow my progress southwards, I’ll be trying to update my Twitter page. Trying, that is, barring technical failures that result in half my updates either not making it or mysteriously going missing shortly after making it. If you have a twitter account and want to follow me, let me know who you are in the comments and when I get to checking my email at that there other end, I’ll return the favour. As usual, IM won’t be happening. Texting or calling will have to suffice while on the road. Email when I get there. Anything else? … deal with it. Catch yall on the flip side.

At the end of the day, Greyhound only mildly pisses me off.

After Wednesday’s rather lengthy song and dance that got me absofuckinglutely nowhere that would be considered anywhere near productive, I pretty much prepared myself this morning for an impressive round or two of fisticuffs over the whole bus ticket incident. But when I got to the station, for the first time *evar*, there was actually no need to bloody anyone’s nose. I walked in, paid for the ticket, got the ticket, promptly wtfed at their apparent need to swing by the Buffalow airport on the return trip only, and walked out. And then proceeded to nearly give Jessica (samari76) a heart attack, but that’s just my style. So as it stands right at this particular moment, barring any future complications between now and the said date at the said time, t minus 7 days, 3.5 hours until go time. No, I’m not counting down at all. Honest. Greyhound, you aren’t quite the epic failure you make yourself out to be. You’re just heading that way.

My one and only bief with Greyhound. Bitching and moaning ahead.

Surprisingly enough, it’s not to do with accessibility. It may or may not have anything to do specificly with customer service. But it’s largely to do with their technological issues, of which they have a shitload. One that’s been hanging around on the long term since at the very least my first attempt at getting myself from here to there is their decided inability to do, like, anything while using the Canadian version of their website. Specificly, when it comes to purchasing tickets. Up until my second attempt to do so, they decided it would be real fun to show me exactly how very broken their purchasing system actually was. Only at that point, it was broken from both my end and theirs. For example, you could see half of your trip (the half *leaving* the Ottawa terminal), but you couldn’t see the return. But, if you went to the US version of same company’s website, you could easily see both sides of your round trip. You just couldn’t pay for them with a Canadian creditcard.

I was under the mistaken impression earlier this afternoon that such malfunctions had been corrected. I could schedule both ends of the round trip, and could even go so far as to see how much such a trip would cost me. I didn’t want to try purchasing it at that point, though, since Jessica (samari76) didn’t yet know what she could take off from work. Well, we found out today she does in fact have at least some of the time I’ll be there off from work, so I thought I’d go ahead and pay for the ticket. Not quite.

As said, I could schedule the trip, I could see how much it cost me, and it even gave me their little disclaimer about how tickets won’t be honoured for anything other than the date they were purchased for without a $15 admin fee to change said date. I gave ’em my creditcard number, and it all appeared to be halfway decent. Until I went to actually submit the purchase. Then their ever so helpful “we encountered a problem and your purchase could not be completed” error message came up. Well crap on a goddamn cracker. I thought we had this conversation already, Greyhound. Honestly.

I called their local office, thinking maybe I could bypass the online system altogether and go through that way. Way to oversimplify things, James. They tell me to either call their main line, or take a run into the station and pick it up that way. By this point, my usually not hard to piss off self was getting just a tiny bit pissed off. I decided, since I was here, to go ahead and call the main number… worst they could say was no, right? Wrong. Instead, they blamed my creditcard for not being able to purchase the ticket, saying they didn’t get the authorization from said card. Say fucking what now? After dumping copious amounts of my tax time earned money on my card, it’s *still* declined? I don’t fucking think so.

I called up Visa, and by this point I’m about ready to tear someone a new asshole. Twice. They tell me the charge *did* go through, and there’s an authorization code here to back that up. So now it’s on. Somebody’s blowing smoke up my ass, and I have a sneaking suspicion (no idea where it came from) that it’s a Greyhound Canada employee. I called their customer service number, and pretty much got another clueless wonder. This one, at least, had the brains to confirm they hadn’t even processed my ticket order. She told me the charges I was told were there should be cleared inside of 24 hours. I’ll believe that when I see it. In the meantime, I still have no bus ticket, and may or may not have been charged for one. Sorry, greyhound. You just screwed up huge.

I thought about just saying fuck it and flying to Rochester. Only one problem. West Jet doesn’t fly there, and Air Canada wants upwards of $500 minimum to fly there. I’ll say this much though. If Greyhound can’t get its shit together and soon, I’m halfway tempted to pony up the extra cashola and book a flight. It might be more expensive, but at least I’ll get there without needing to drop kick half a dozen people first.

Update: I have a ride to the station on Friday. Here’s hoping I actually get to come back with a bus ticket.

Either I am good, or I am still unemployed.

I should know within the week…ish, if all goes according to plan. I applied for a position advertised by Adecco, another local temp agency in these here parts, at about the end of last week. I’ve been in almost constant contact with them since Monday about that and one other position they think, based on my resume, I just might qualify for. And, after a lot of back and forth over the phoneand through email, I now officially have yet another interview with yet another temp agency tomorrow morning. Both jobs I’m up for consideration for will be covered in the interview, seeing as they’re both fairly identical with the exception that one’s doing IT support for employees of a company, whereas the other’s putting me back in a position more similar to my days working for Dell. They both pay roughly the same base rate as well, so it ends up working out in the long run regardless which job I end up landing. The only real difference other than the end user to be supported? One’s close to where the old office was, the other’s downtown. So it looks like there will be a definite return to Ottawa tomorrow, now for two reasons. My return home, and my possible (as in, good lord I hope so) return to employment. Yes, it does mean I had to sort of postpone the seeing of the girlfriend if I land either job, but we both agree it’s more than worth it in the long run. Just means I might be working rather than sleeping on easter Sunday. I’ll get over it. As long as it means I’ll be working.

I just keep coming back.

It’s been a pretty close to uneventful week this week, both on a personal front and, as per usual, on an employment front. Still looking, still applying, still not getting people calling. So I pretty well decided today is the day of escape. I’m spending the weekend (well, plus tonight) at the parents’ place, and will probably wind up going back to Ottawa somewhere in the neighbourhood of Monday-ish. Mom and aunt Holly dropped by this morning, at about 11:00 or so. Almost exactly when I expected to see them. What I didn’t know they planned on doing, however, was coming back to Pembroke via the casino. I had absolutely no money for casinoing, and really wasn’t in a casino mood today to begin with. Probably because of the afore mentioned lack of money. But, apparently, they had their hearts set on going. So mom gave me $10 and it was donated in an hour. Of course, then aunt Holly was all in a panic because she might not make it back to Pembroke in time for her to go to work. Dear family: I love ya, but you fail epically at this whole planning and organization thing.

We ended up making it though, even if she was 15 minutes late for work and pretty well had to be dropped off there. Which probably didn’t sit all that well with her either, but she’ll get over it. Mom and I came back here, where I was promptly damn near run over by dogs. I pesterred them for a bit while she went to pick something up for supper. Queen dramatus persona decided to drop by for a bit while we were eating, and sort of stuck to us until aunt Holly was off work. Then she went to pick her up, dropped her back here, and promptly fucked off back home. We all sat around talking for a bit, then drove her back home so she could do what she needed to before bed, seeing as she’d been up and on the road since 7:30–see, Jessica (samari76), I knew even if they left at 7:00 or so like they planned they wouldn’t get to my place before noonish. And now I’m sitting here, hoping this computer doesn’t go sideways while I go through email and bother folks on LJ.

I did have an interesting time though with getting to know Gina (nightdrake) beyond the realm of LJ, being that she’s staying at jessica’s place at least until Sunday or so. I had a few conversations both over IM and over the phone with her, which kind of alternated from amusing to downright hillarious. They both seem quite comfortable together, minus the fact methinks 13-hour days are starting to catch up with one of them. I did suggest a long weekend should be taken at some point so that the favour can be returned, and she at least seemed to consider it, so we’ll see what happens in that regard.

As for now, though, I should probably go attempt to rejoin the land of the halfway living. I may or may not be back at the computer later, and MSN, at least, will probably be up if I am. Right now it’s still signed in from home if it’s signed in at all, so folks IMing me there just aren’t gonna get an answer. Sorry. Anyone looking to get a hold of me on AIM or Yahoo, stick to MSN. This computer may catch fire if I install those two. I shall return, at some point. And anyone I am owing comments to will receive their comments. Maybe.