I had no idea we were *this* behind the times.

I live in a small town. Not small as in my next door neighbour knows the sister of the lady who taught my grade 3 class–although it might as well be, seeing as a couple doors down from me lives one of my elementary school teachers, but small. Small enough that, surprise of surprises–and I didn’t even know this, people are still getting excited about the prospect of high-speed, DSL internet being brought to their particular community. DSL. That thing I’ve been using for nearly 10 years. And folks are still today getting excited about having it. Scratch that, folks today still actually don’t have that particular option. I knew Pembroke and area was still catching up to everyone else, but I had no idea we were *this* behind the times. Paging the CRTC…

CTV Ottawa lights up. Literally.

A goodly portion of my TV watching, at least that which doesn’t consist of hockey or baseball, is done on CTV. Usually, its Ottawa station–particularly since they were nice enough to kill news broadcasts from Ottawa’s local A Channel station.

Their Ottawa newsroom caught fire overnight last night, resulting in the temporary loss of use of that building and the possibly permanent loss of 30+ years of news and video archives. Definitely, it resulted in the permanent loss of at least 2.5 million dollars worth of computer and video technology. They get to provide their news updates during tonight’s football game–which starts in 4 minutes for anyone curious enough to watch-from the parking lot of their former headquarters. Tonight’s local update at 11:30, however, will ironically enough come from the A Channel building–the first newscast from that building since March of last year.

If you get any of your news from CTV in the Ottawa or Pembroke area, or even if you just want to help out, keep an eye pealed–there will probably be ways and means for you to do so. If you’re a Max Keeping fan and happen to have something from his time with CTV, you’re encouraged to help replace everything he’s lost in the fire this close to his retirement–info for doing so is in the article’s comments section. CTV, and the news I’ve gotten semi-used to watching from there, will probably never be the same. CTV Ottawa is dead, long live CTV Ottawa.

When layoffs hit home.

In 2008, the Dell office in Ottawa I was working at shut down, giving its employees a bit over a month’s notice. In early to mid 2009, my father’s job with a transport company went from under him as the company itself ended up being bought up. On Friday, my mother was informed as of the moment she was told, she no longer had a job at the local hardware store. And today, I got to learn my uncle, who’d been working at a local vehicle repair shop for at least the last year or two, also no longer has a job. All of these signs the recovery we’re being told is heading our way isn’t actually here yet. fortunately, there’ll always be a demand for mechanics, for technicians of a computer and otherwise variety, for truck drivers–my father’s already found himself a better job than he had. But when of all places, losses start to hit a small-ish city like Pembroke, you know there’s problems. And at times like this, I’m reminded of something I’ve said more than a few times, even before the recession. Economics suck. Plain and simple. And sometimes, they like to remind you they do.

Hey, global warming? Go to hell.

We had to make a run into town this morning to get the birth stone ring I got Jess for her birthday resized. And, much like yesterday, we caught a nifty little helping of snow, cold, and all kinds of bad in doing so. It was below freezing all last night. It’s still below freezing now. It’ll probably get colder this afternoon–also known as way too goddamn cold. And folks are still worried about global warming. Tell ya what, I’ll make you a deal. You let it warm to the point that I don’t need 6 layers to step outside, and I’ll think about not laughing my ass off at you for bitching about the supposed threat to the environment we are by just existing. Until I get some of this global warming headed my way, let’s just agree that you’ll stuff it. Deal? Thankya.

New years day, done our way.

And in this case, our way involves all manner of creative thinggies that started last night. We took off from here at about 5 or so, and I proceeded to complete my own personal challenge to stay up since the morning before until past the official welcoming of the new year last night. My parents were having a sort of new years eve dinner, so we went over for that. It went a lot better than I actually expected it to, though largely because things have gotten a lot less dramatic in recent years. Mom made her usual spagheti and garlic bread, we hung out and talked, and then killed the rest of the night watching movies. At some point I’ll stop being an unmotivated slob and start posting movie reviews, but it’s probably not going to be today.

Today was spent mostly sleeping and recovering from the last two days. Then, the parents wanted to get together for a new years day dinner. Usually, it involves some kind of meat and potatoes at their place, but this year they felt like going out. Neither Jess nor myself were in much of a Chinese food mood, but that’s what the majority wanted so that’s what we got. It wasn’t all in all too terrible, just not something we were immediately looking forward to. Still, we enjoyed ourselves, not to mention filled ourselves to near busting. Now, the trick is to attempt to find something resembling a decent movie on TV, and try not to do the food coma thing. And to keep up with certain blogging traditions I’m trying to start up over here–those are next. The last few days were tiring, but definitely fun. I’d do them again if I could. Maybe this time next year, perhaps. And, possibly, with a few more people.

Winter tries to say hello to Rochester. Finally.

There’s about a 6-hour drive between Ottawa and Rochester, where I’ve been spending the last few weeks, which one would think wouldn’t amount to a whole lot of difference weather-wise–when we’re freezing, they’re usually freezing. But there’s been a winter trend that, until just yesterday and today, has been trying to buck the usual tradition. Winter has been playing head games with us. It teased us near to the beginning of November. And just when I thought we might escape the month snow free, not quite. And now, well into the month of December, we finally get serious about winter.

Ottawa got hammered yesterday with its first major snow storm of the year, as did the Pembroke area. And, surprising the hell out of me, as did Rochester. We’re still catching it good out there right now, and I’d be laying money on roads not being very fun to drive on this morning. It played with Ottawa and Pembroke, teased us up there, then finally decided to have at it. It didn’t once touch Rochester all month, but when it finally did, I do believe it made up for the teasing. Ladies and gentlemen, fans of Christmas everywhere can now relax. Winter has screwed your travel plans.

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.

Winter drops in at home, while I’m out of the country.

Shortly after I revived this blog in its third reincarnation, we were teased with just a small sampling of wintery weather, which ended up not actually sticking around. We were well on our way to the first snow-free November I can remember having in the Ottawa valley area. Temperatures were still well above freezing, the most threatening of weather we ever had to hear about was the odd patch of fog at 6:30 in the morning, and layers were most asuredly not required. Flash forward to this morning. It’s dipped below freezing, and at last report, was still snowing north of the border. And, also at last report, it’s supposed to dip just a little farther into the below freezing end of the spectrum, at somewhere around -4 C (31 F for those of you reading from the comfort of your US locations). Winter’s definitely moving in. And, like the relative you don’t want showing up but who’ll show up anyway, it waited until I wasn’t home to do so.

Christmas in the valley.

Occasionally, I’ll share a little something from my music collection, or something I find online, that may or may not have some actual connection to me and/or my family. In this case, it’s a video that was actually uploaded, not by me, to Youtube in 2006. Personally, I think it’s an alright video, and the song is one which almost always gets played around December in my house. Wayne Rostad’s Christmas In the Valley, which–if you exclude the whole part about the cattle and all that–kind of describes some of the atmosphere around the Pembroke area, at least where our family’s concerned. It really is a whole lot simpler time when December hits. And I think this captures that simplisity. Not bad, for a song that was originally recorded probably before I was born. So, here, have a video. Assuming this works properly.

What are they doing to my waterfront festival?

For as long as I can remember, every time we had the chance we’d pack up the family and head out to Pembroke’s waterfront in mid-August to get a halfway decent seat for whichever big name bands were playing. It was the Roadhammers once, Wide Mouth Mason, and there were probably a few others I can’t immediately remember. Often times, nights like that would be followed up by a Sunday afternoon browse through festival grounds to get a look at whatever it is we didn’t get to see on Friday or Saturday.

Sunday wasn’t a concert going day–mind you, that was largely because the performers they got in on Sundays were, well, often times local. And often times not very good. And since we’re talking Pembroke, we know they won’t be inclined to change that. Instead, because Sunday is a low attendance day, the city’s contemplating cancelling Sundays and starting the festival on Thursday instead.

Among the suggestions includes dropping the thinly attended Sunday program of the three-day festival, saving on the expense of hosting it, while concentrating on Thursday evening.

“Pembroke is not a Sunday “let’s go to the festival” community,” she said, as in the past four years the Sunday program never attracted more than 1,500 people, despite having attractions like April Verch, Fred Eaglesmith, Valdy and the Fiddling and Step Dance show.

By having the festival start on Thursday and wrap up Saturday, organizers can take advantage of the college crowd, who like to head out Thursdays to have fun. The large turnout of people to this year’s finale of the Ottawa Valley’s Got Talent contest, held at the waterfront amphitheatre Thursday evening, is testament to that idea.

Prior to the attending of any of the Sunday events, I hadn’t heard of most if not all of those. The only reason I have any interest in fiddling and/or step dancing is because I have a cousin who was, at one time, involved in it–and I don’t think I attended that Sunday on account of having to work anyway. So… um, no, they’re not about to go drawing in huge crowds if you’re roping them in for that. Keep the Sunday program, just… with better material. Maybe stick the talent show over there. I’d listen to that over a reappearance of April.

Small town life isn’t bad. It’s the logistics that suck.

A few days ago, I made mention to the fact I’ve been playing hell trying to get my hands on a phone from Rogers to replace the one I have now that’s both getting to be outdated, and, I suspect, is now starting to have issues with the battery–a thing I wasn’t suspicious of when all this started. Well, as hinted at in that post, the order actually went through–eventually. And, Friday night, they sent the package to be shipped out. It was due to come in yesterday. There was just one small problem. It didn’t actually leave the originating facility until yesterday, which meant they had to reschedule the delivery date. The official date is now the eleventh of November–also known as rememberence day, when not only did I not think things actually got delivered, but I won’t actually be home. Adding to the overall confusion of a move like that, the package itself is, or was at 9:35 this morning, sitting in an office in Pembroke. Pembroke is about 15 minutes away from me if you stay within the speed limit. If I had a vehicle, or a transportation system that vaguely resembled the one in Ottawa, I could have been there, picked up the thing, and been back here well before noon.

The scheduling fubar isn’t entirely the fault of UPS, though. In this area, UPS at some point–I have no idea at which point, though–hands off anything destined for Pembroke and area to Purolator, who I personally wouldn’t recommend to ship a postcard let alone something you actually paid good money for. From then on, I think it kind of gets fit in around the packages they actually get scheduled directly to ship. Which means, if they have to get it here before 8:00 tonight, I expect to see it by about 7:50. Just in time for me to get up in between periods and sign for it.

Small town life does have its absolutely positive perks, particularly when, assuming one’s relatives living in the said small town actually behave themselves, they’re a lot more accessible to actually go out and do things with more often–without the need to spend a couple days working out travel times first, and aranging to have somewhere to stay before one leaves to do those things. It’s nice, contrary to what I might complain about on here while I live here. There’s just, simply put, no such thing as a shortcut to doing much of anything. You escentially have to shoot past here, and double back, in order to get here unless you’re driving directly on your own–buses stop here coming from either North Bay, or Ottawa. And that’s probably what my package from Rogers ends up doing. So it ends up taking probably 9 or 10 hours to make a trip you could do directly, without stopping save for meals etc, in 4 or 5. Talk about long way around for a shortcut. And you can’t do much without it.

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.

Well hello there, winter.

I got the distinct impression when I got up this morning something was up. It wasn’t forecast to get all that cold last night, but I definitely needed to add some heat to the mix. Now, I know why. Apparently, at some point before I got around to actually getting out of bed, we were on the receiving end of a little dusting of snow. Hardly enough to do anything except make people reconsider road travel at breakneck speeds, but still an indication. Winter, in all her uh, glory, has returned to the great white north. Now, which box is my winter gear in?

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.

*yawn, flop, snore*

I’ve been up since 8-ish thanks to two very hyper dogs and haven’t really done squat. Had them outside for a good half hour to 45 minutes, before they got distracted by the neighbour’s dog and had to be reigned in. Or rather, dust mop had to be reigned in. Missy had to be retrieved from their yard. The next hour and a bit was spent either playing with them or watching them play with each other and making sure they didn’t take the place apart in the process. They finally went to sleep about an hour ago… that gives me time to check email, look for jobs (not a damn one, but had to check), and try to wake up. Which I have utterly failed at, so I now go back to bed for a couple hours. If anything with more than 2 legs wakes me up before I’m no longer a zombie, I expect it to go flying.

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.

I are here.

Well, it’s official. I can, in fact, go from nothing to all kinds of something in just a couple days. I’m sitting in Pembroke right now, where I’ve been since this past Friday, because… well… I really can’t think of a very good reason, other than because the mother thing picked up asking me when I was coming down on average once every 2 or 3 days. Well, that, plus no bus service in Ottawa means I’d need cab fair to get me from here to there, and being unemployed, that’s a little bit scarce. So I said screw it, and came here. Bright side, though, the bus strike is in fact over. Down side? I still don’t expect to see a bus on the road until this coming Friday at the earliest. And neither does anyone else I’ve talked to.

I fired off about a dozen more applications over the last week or so, including 3 yesterday; the most in a single day for me in… a couple months. That has to say something. Still haven’t received any kind of feedback for the applications I submitted during the actual week, but such would be life.

It’s actually been semi-decent outside this weekend. Warm enough that I was about to take my father’s dust mop of a dog out for a good 15 minutes or so without him freezing to death. So I got him nice and tired out, and now he’s by the sounds of it found himself somewhere in the living room to pass out. Probably in behind my mother’s knees or something, as usual. Anyway, the randomness stops here. I had nothing of any real substance to offer, but that’s never stopped me before.

PS: Anyone trying to IM me, I’m not home. I’m not signed into IM over here, and probably won’t be. Sorry. Gonna have to settle for phone/text/email. You’ll live.

Christmas, in a nutshell. Or an LJ post.

So as previously stated, the two of us packed it up on the 23rd of the month and booked it on down to Pembroke for Christmas. As usual, it went over with the required amount of hillarity. Unusually, the frustration/irritation that comes with managed to hold off at least until we got a ride back up here. I think, personally, they did that strictly for Jessica’s (samari76) benefit. Lord knows I’m used to the way things usually turn out. Since everyone else on the flist’s doing it practically, I figure I might as well prattle off what I ended up walking away with from the whole Christmas thing. I got:

  • CSI seasons 1 and 8 on DVD
  • A couple of different card games from the girlfriend
  • A DVD player with surround-sound speakers
  • The 2008 country hits CD (will be stuck on the computer next week)
  • A couple of sweaters, one from mom and dad and one from the brother and his wife
  • A coin storage thingie… I guess people were getting scared at the sheer size of my wallet’s change holder
  • A new one of said wallets from the grandparents, came equipped with $10, for which my broke ass was quite appreciative
  • … And a partrage in a pare tree.
  • /

We had, as usual, the dinner of teh awesomes. Typical spread for our folks; terkey, stuffing (both stove top and home made), potatoes, and about half a billion different varieties of all things green and/or healthy. There were movies watched, though it doesn’t sound like mom got to watch all the ones she was hoping for… she has her selection of movies/shows she likes to watch in the week or two coming up to Christmas. I know she got to see a few of them, but I think the list of ones she didn’t see this year was longer. Boxing day, A.K.A yesterday, was our return trip to Ottawa. The parentals dropped us off, and the brother thing plus wifey came along mostly because they were in the area at the time. Which I guess worked out, since apparently dad needed a hand to set up the DVD player. Which didn’t quite get set up as it is; the only thing those particular two were intent on agreeing with each other about yesterday was that it wasn’t working. We did have a bit of a Christmas party on the 24th, but it was pretty much just members of the family sitting around with drinks in our hand, shooting the shit and listening to music. Jessica got introduced to several more of my relatives, including aunt Holly’s husband, Mike, and their daughter, Sherry (aliases: queen dramatus persona, wicked bitch of the north, and madam complains a lot). She was introduced to the brother’s niece, his sister-in-law, and… a whole shit ton of others. Christmas day was more meetings as she got to meet Trish’s parents and brothers, seeing as we had to drop off their givts anyway. After the parentals left yesterday, we sat around and talked for a bit, had supper, and dug ourselves out from the mountain of email that had accumulated since we left. Now, at too goddamn early in the goddamn morning on a goddamn saturday, we’re both up and figuring on catching up with our LJ postings. My body decided it was done sleeping, and I think my being up and wandering around out here might have provoked her to get up. Oops.

I’ve had a hell of an awesome week so far, the only black spot on it being that tomorrow I have to bring myself to get her to the bus station, so we can get back to doing our own thing on our own side of the border until who the hell knows. Either way it’ll be way too damn long, in my blatantly honest opinion. But the week as it’s been so far has definitely made me look forward to the next time. We crack jokes about how each of us is more than likely just counting down the hours until the other one’s finally getting back on the bus and leaving, but the truth is she has no idea how anticipated the chance is to start counting down the hours until one of us actually goes to do the visiting. As for right now though, we’re both up way earlier than either of us would like to be, so methinks it’s time I either contemplate preparing mass amounts of caffeine for immediate consumption, or get one/both of us back under the covers. This whole not sleeping past like 6:30 stuff? Yeah. Die in a goddamn fire.

The day that was, and who ate my heat?

Jessica’s birthday went off without so much as a hickup. We spent the majority of the day just hanging out and talking, and I gave her her next and last birthday gift. It was a foot warmer from mom, which turned out to be appropriate thanks largely to the fact we had a slightly colder than usual night and it only served to confirm that yet, in fact, the heat in here isn’t working quite as well as I’d of liked. So there will be phone calls made about that momentarily. I took Jess out for dinner last night, dropping in for a couple hours at Montana’s Cookhouse. For the record, I’m ever so slightly reminded of a restaurant we went to during my initial trip down there. Except, of course, it’s in Canada. So it’s better. By default. Now we’re both sort of awake and hanging out in my living room; she’s checking her email, and we’re both just doing that thing where we be like 6 different kinds of lazy. Eventually, the plan is to take off for the parentals’ place and the coming Christmas cellebrations (translation: eat ’til you puke, drink ’til you puke, and get up early-ish). As for immediately right now, though? This apartment needs some serious heatage. Like wo.

This post took way too damn long.

Yes, I know, I should have posted forever ago. Deal with it. Anyway, things have been steadily doing that thing where they both calm down and pick up at the exact same time over the past week or so. The visit with jessica (Samari76) ended as wonderfully as it started, if you’re willing to ignore the fact I got home about 4.5 hours later than I, like, ever wanted to. The thanks giving dinner we had at her coworker’s place was absolutely awesome, and so was the company. Bonnie, our hostess, pretty well went all out with the dinner, trying her best I swear to compete with my mother in seeing just how quickly we all wound up in a food coma by 10. I don’t think anyone ended up staying late enough to find out, though; Tasha and her friend/boyfriend/whatever ended up calling their cab at upwards of quarter to 9, the rookies. Jess was getting a tiny bit tired, so we ended up going home shortly there after. Well, that, plus she had to work the next day.

Friday was originally going to be our spend time alone together evening; we were thinking about cracking open something alcoholic, ordering pizza, and calling it an evening to remember. But Tasha’s playmate came over to collect her vodka, what was left of it, and he and Jess got to talking about our respective plans. He mentioned making Tacos, and that pretty much cieled the deal for what we were planning on doing. Half an hour later or so, we’d packaged up Tasha’s alcohol, and grabbed some of our own, heading to Marvin’s place for Mexican food. The plan was originally we’d all (Jessica, me, Marvin and Tasha) get together over there and do some drinking. Since tacos were apparently initially her idea and she had the stuff, Tasha was going to bring it ahead over. But I guess she decided at some point throughout the day to lapse into her teenage years, because not long after we got to Marvin’s place, she called him all pouty like and said she wasn’t coming over. They went back and forth for a bit, her getting pissed off at him for trying to convince her to come over, him getting pissed off at her because at this point she was 26 years old going on 4. The more pissed off she got, the more her story as to why it was she didn’t want to come over changed… y’know, typical childlike fashion. It ended up getting to the point where instead of calling Marvin out for things, she started calling both Jessica and myself out for supposedly things that were done when I first met her like 3-4 months ago. Now, it should be pointed out that neither of us remembers, like, anything she’s saying we’re supposedly guilty of doing/saying. She eventually gets herself over to his place, but insists that she’s here but doesn’t plan on coming in. So Jessica went out to see what the hell her problem was this time.

Now, anyone with half a brain knows I’m not the kind of person to bother getting in the middle of crap like that. Neither, for the record, is Jessica. But on this particular evening there wasn’t gonna be any of that staying out of it stuff. Not according to Tasha, anyway; we were there, so obviously we were targets too. Marvin starts to crying about how this is the crap he has to deal with from her and yada yada yada cry me a goddamn river. So I flat out told him, either put up with it and hope to god she grows up, or drop the chick like a bad habbit and move on to the next. By this point she and Jessica are in a bit of a screaming match outside, so I went out to see what the hell her problem is. sure enough, no sooner did she get here than she’s talking about how she should have just stayed home and no one listens to her and all that typical “pity me, I’m pathetic” crapola. I finally got Jessica to come in, and Marvin went out to deal with her. I’d of gone myself but at this stage of the game she’d of wound up carried. Either into the house or into an ambulance; that much all 3 of us were looking to let her decide. I don’t know what all Marvin said to her, but she eventually ended up coming in, and heading straight into the living room where again she started shooting her mouth off, this time at both me and Jessica.

Keep in mind all of this started because her freaking boyfriend committed the ultimate sin and asked her why she changed her mind last minute and didn’t want to come over. I was getting tired of this like nobody’s business, so when she finally stopped screaming for 30 seconds all 3 of us pretty much told her to shut up, grow up, and at least try acting like somebody a year older than me for a change. I think she got the hint this time, because the next like 10 minutes or so was basicly her crying and appologising and all that wonderful fluffy crap. Jessica ended up going back to Tasha’s place with her to get her stuff, since she’d apparently not bothered to have the sense to bring it with her. She had it all packed and at the door though, minus whatever she’d be sleeping in that night, so clearly she’d planned to show up. Have I mentioned before the two things that irritate me most when it comes to your average person are extreme amounts of self-generated drama, and head games? Well, this little bundle of wtf apparently comes packaged with both. Not what I wanted to see on a friday night where there’s alcohol involved. Or any night, but whatcha gonna do? Marvin and I pretty much shot the shit while they were over at Tasha’s place, and it turns out we have a lot of the same theories. Which surprised the hell out of me, when you consider the fact we come from entirely different cultures/backgrounds.

By the time Jess and Tasha got back, we’d killed the vodka and pretty much what was left of everything else. We did have some of her rum left, so Jess and I killed that, too. Which was good, because my buz was pretty well taking a small little tiny vacation about then. The rest of the evening actually wasn’t too bad. We ordered pizza, killed the remainder of the alcohol we had on hand, and generally shot the shit. I think over the course of the evening Tasha managed to mentally age the missing 22 years. We ended up getting ready to leave well after midnight… I think it was closer to 1 or so before we headed out the door, and caught a cab home. I made sure Jess got to bed okay, then let the other two nutcases know we made it home, before pretty well punching the lights out myself.

Saturday was pretty well all manner of lazy, with the exception of an hour or two taken up in the morning to grab breakfast with Julie and her fiance. Then we just came back to Jess’s place, and did that thing where we got all kinds of lazy. Threw on some music, and kicked it around the place for the day. Sunday was go time, and it was pretty much one scheduling fuck-up after another. We got to the station somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1:30, for a 2:45 departure. Then shortly after we got to the station, so did the hellishly bad weather. Snow storms galore by the sounds of it. All told the bus didn’t end up pulling out of Rochester until upwards of 5. And from that point, we were behind the eight ball. About 3 hours behind when we left, 3.5 when we hit the border, 4 when we hit toronto and 4.5 or so when I finally made it to Ottawa. And it was all that bitch mother nature’s fault. Weather stuck with us the whole time on the road. Except for, probably, about 10 minutes or so between border and Toronto. By the time I got to Ottawa it was upwards of like 6:30-7:00. So I left my suitcase at the door, crawled my ass to my room, and fell into bed. Like wo.

Pretty much all of that week was spent doing job search related things, talking to the girlfriend, and generally picking up on stuff that needs taking care of after you get back from the dark side. Finally got unemployment insurance related things sorted out, so there will be no moving back to the drama capital of our family this bitch of a winter. Next, well, hopefully I won’t have to think about that. Fired off about 6 handfuls of applications, though, and got a total of 0 callbacks so far. Figures, but whatcha gonna do? Same thing for last week. Applications galore were fired off left and right, but notta so far in the interview department. People blame the slowing economy, I blame Murphy’s law. Or something.

Last Wednesday I booked it on back down to Pembroke, so we could make a family thing out of decorating my parents’ Christmas tree. Or rather, I planned to book it on down to Pembroke, but mother nature decided to slow things up then, too. Bitch. Otherwise, though, that went off apparently problem free; the sister-in-law didn’t give us too much of a headache with that. Surprised the royal hell out of me, but for a change, it was a pleasant one. Came back on Friday initially to stick around here for the weekend, dad had an appointment in town so they dropped me off for that. Took the hour and a bit to apply for a few more jobs and pack extra clothes just in case, as dad wasn’t sure if he was going back to work at that time or not. Turned out he wasn’t, so I went back to Pembroke to give him a hand with finishing the flooring project he started at about the end of October or so. We didn’t exactly get that finished, but he did manage to finish up the flooring in the front porch. He went back to work on sunday, and I took the day to be 6 different kinds of lazy.

Monday was a little tiny bit of a twist in and of itself. Marvin decided to stir up a little bit of shit where Jessica and I are concerned, which naturally upset her. Her LJ goes into the basics of what he said, but it pretty much boils down to he told her I hinted to him during our first conversation that there were things I was doing specificly because she wanted to, though I didn’t necessarily want to. I just kind of shook my head at it, but it seemed to bother her a lot. She forwarded me the emails he was sending back and forth with her. I had a read, then promptly went off on him like nobody’s business in email. He was all appologetic, after changing his story once or twice, including saying it was something she told him that she’d discussed with Tasha, or something like that. Siiiigh. Drama blows hard. He emailed me with a profuse appology, then texted Jessica repeatedly with the same damn thing. Next day, he appologised to her in person. She’s apparently accepted it, but as for myself, I think I’ll still be pissed for a while. The rest of the week was pretty uneventful though, and I eventually (meaning on Wednesday) wandered on back to Ottawa. This after finishing the wrapping of Jess’s birthday present. I took wednesday to recover from the week. Thursday was mostly job related stuff, and yesterday was wrapping the Christmas presents I’d bought here but didn’t take to Pembroke with me. Primarily because the 3 people I bought for were living in or frequently visiting the house during that week. There was a little tiny bit of frustration with Jessica’s buses, mostly related to issues with mother nature. Queen bee killer bitch herself decided it would be awesome to dump like a hundred feet of snow on Rochester and area. Well, okay, only 1 or 2. Her 1:40 bus is apparently all manner of cancelled, so she’s going to make a shot at the 8:15 one. Later than usual arival time, but hey, she’ll be here. So not complaining. Today will be, um, well, let’s see. Laundry, cleaning. No, wait, cleaned already. Okay, laundry. Oh, and waiting to hear if she’s actually going to be here or not.

In the chaos that is my life, I seem to have missed a couple special occasions. So, happy belated birthdays, Shon (thecrazykiwi) and Rox’e (pawpower4me)!

PS: If ever I go this long without posting again, could someone please drop kick me?

Road trippin’!

It’s only as far as Pembroke, and it’s only for the weekend, but… eh. Whatcha gonna do? I go bother the parentals tonight, come back late-ish on Sunday. I’ll try to post a time or 6. But, y’know. If not, I might actually stick to updating twitter for a bloody change. We leave at some point after Trish and her husband get off work. I are already packed and whatnot. Yes, I know, you can faint now. I’m actually not slacking for a change. Now all I need to do is, well, um, not a damn thing. Damn that feels good. I go feed myself now.

Week and weekend in review, and I still can has no works.

Well, as hinted at in my last post, I returned back to Ottawa on Monday and dropped Jessica (samari76) off at the bus station, after a hell of an awesome weekend. She came up to cellebrate the thanks giving weekend with me and the family, and we all seemed to rather enjoy ourselves. Mom’s dinner selections were, as usual, absolutely perfect. The girl loves to cook, and it more than definitely shows. Other than that, the weekend was pretty well spent relaxing, introducing Jessica to more of my family, and just enjoying spending time with her. She loves my family, and I can tell just by watching them around her they feel the same way. Now, we’re sort of talking about me going the other direction for her thanks giving, if I can figure out what the hell I’m doing so far as employment, or a possible living situation should the employment question not be answered. But in the meantime, the weekend was loads of fun, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Speaking of the whole employment thing, I found a couple more jobs to apply for over the last couple days, and they’ve subsequently been all kinds of fired applications. I don’t know if I’ll hear anything from them, but hey, I haven’t called it quits. Which says something right there, I dare say. Of course it’s entirely likely I’ll wind up doing a sales-related gig (*gag cringe die*), but at the moment, it’d still be better than the already impressive $0/hour I’m getting now. Now, here’s hoping it actually winds up happening. I’d hate to have an excuse to go postal on the job market.

I don’t do anything in Pembroke. Honest.

That spending the afternoon yesterday going out for coffee with my aunt and one of my cousins didn’t happen. Neither did the going to their place for supper after. Because, y’know, I just don’t dare do such things. My poor hockey team also didn’t just roll over and play dead for half last night’s game, either. No, seriously. They didn’t. We’re not talking about that. Shhh. You saw nothing.

Seriously though, there was actually a rather surprising amount of fun to be had yesterday. The cousin in question, who’s been a little bit of a drama queen in her own right lately, actually did her best to behave herself. And succeeded. Or something. We watched a couple movies and my aunt decided to order pizza for supper. Then it was go time. Came back home, ousted the dogs, and threw on the hockey game. And then promptly turned it right the hell off again. Oh. my. fucking. god. We did decently up until the third. Apparently they weren’t todl hockey does have 3 periods though. Thank god it’s only the preseason. Damn, that hurt.

I had to make up for that horrifying beating, you know. Well, okay, that and Christmass is in, oh… 3 months, so call these my christmass present to me. Uber freaking early, but I do that. Deal. I’ve got one half the size, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last year or so, it’s that 500 GB is so not enough for someone who’s video wishlist is way too fucking long for his goddamn good. I could probably just delete half of them, but well, that’s so no fun. Besides, then I’d of just had to buy something else.

And, because this entry’s not random/pointless enough, the Canadian government actually came up with something semi-useful ; our very own national do not call list. How well it works is anyone’s guess, but hey, I’ll take it. Hey, can’t be any worse than the one they use in the US.

… And I’ve just run out of pointless drivvle. Time to find something semi-productive to do. Like maybe laundry. Where did I learn to procrastinate so damn much? … I blame Cheryl (clefurgey).

No, your eyes do not deceive you.

I actually do have time, it would appear, to throw a quick post up here that has nothing whatsoever to do with my ramblings to Twitter. Not that there’s a whole lot going on here that I haven’t posted to Twitter about. It’s been fairly decent since I left Ottawa on Saturday. That day was spent pretty much getting here, and then once actually here, being too damn tired to do a whole lot of anything I’d call productive by any stretch of the imagination. I actually meant to post before I left, but well, things came up and that just plain didn’t end up happening. You’ll survive.

Sunday we spent the morning doing a little bit of shopping, and a little more visitting. Stopped in to see my grandparents for once, and spent about an hour or so there. I also finally broke down and got a hold of a fairly decent pair of shoes, replacing the ones I’ve sort of been hanging on to for about a year and a half. Monday ended up being a little more low key, with us only really going out to pick up a couple things for that night’s supper. The brother and bitch-in-law have been making fairly regular appearances over here, usually and rather conveniently around the dinner hour, and that’s actually been surprisingly more tolerable than in previous meetings. Shocked the royal hell out of me, that did. We called it an early night (which meant 11 for me), since mom had an appointment in Ottawa the next morning, so after my usual conversation with Jessica I fell into bed and stayed there ’til 5.

Yesterday we went to her appointment, then mom decided on the way back she’d go double check her previous cleaning efforts at my place (I guess she didn’t get enough of it done on Saturday?). Surprisingly, she actually found something else to clean. Now keep in mind I hadn’t been there for like 5 days. Ah well, that’s my slightly OCD mother for you. Then she decided to stop in at a grocery store on the way back, just to see how many decent sales she could stumble across. That blue an hour and a bit out the door no problem and it was still a 45 minute drive home, plus construction. So her initial plan to be to Ottawa and back before noon quickly became one to be to Ottawa and back before 3. Oops.

Last night was again, more low key goodness. We sat down to supper again with the brother and the bitch-in-law, and then mom and I both promptly passed out again, me after my nightly conversation, of course. This morning’s been pretty well lazy for me. Mom’s gone over to give the bitch-in-law a hand with housework and whatnot, so I’ve spent the last hour and a bit fixing this damn computer, checking emails, and cruising the friends page. And, because that’s what I do, sucking on caffeine.
This family’s not without its share of drama though, and as it would figure, its habbit of cropping up while I’m in Pembroke remains unbroken. Fortunately this time it’s rather confined to the bitch-in-law and my brother. Turns out she’s pregnant, and by the sounds of it, has been since mid-July. Bright side: I have someone to spoil the hell out of. Not so bright side: I know who this kid’s gonna have for a mother. And, because you just can’t have the semi-good without the bad, while on a training exercise for his eventual deployment to Afghanistan, my brother ended up twisting his knee. So now they’re not sure if he’ll still be able to go. Which hey, I’m not gonna lose any sleep over it if that’s the case. But he’s been talking about this tour for months, and if it’s bad enough that he can’t go over, he’ll be more than a little tiny bit pissed. Because, you know, no good can come from him actually being here to take care of his pregnant wife, and all that.
So that’s Pembroke life in a nutshell this week. I still haven’t gotten very far on the employment front. The one company I interviewed for, when last I heard, has given serious thought to getting its hands on a demo of JAWS for Windows, A.K.A. the screenreader I use, and is going to see on their own first if it’ll play all nice like with their systems. They may end up calling me in to show them how the hell I can get it to work right, if it gets that far. I’ve been keeping almost weekly contact with them, so will probably give ’em a call up on Friday and see what the story is over that way. I haven’t found a whole lot application worthy since then though, not that I haven’t been keeping an eye out. Until they officially tell me I’m hired, I’m still fair game. So I’ll play the “they’re moving faster than you are” card once I get another bite or 3, and see where that gets me. And now I have a dog nosing at my arm, who either wants to play or be let out, so time to stop being a lazy sack and actually do something. I owe certain people comments, and certain others emails. That will be attended to once I’ve got a free 5 minutes again.

Edit: Keyboard loves to miss letters on me. sheyrena calls it a querk. I call it one more thing that’s partially failing on this bloody machine. The sad part? If I were more awake I’d of caught that.

*half-yawns*

Well, I didn’t get as much posting to Twitter done yesterday as I’d planned, but fortunately not a whole lot happened after going to Pembroke. We picked Jess (samari76) up at the bus stop yesterday morning, and headed out to my mom’s for the day. She and my aunt took us out for breakfast/lunch/whatever, then we generally shot the shit for a bit. Jessica hadn’t gotten a whole lot of sleep on the way up here, and had pretty much been up for 30 or so hours straight at that point so was starting to get a little bit run down. Honestly, I was getting a tiny bit tired myself. So we grabbed a nap for a couple hours, went back out to talk some more with mom, then made our way back to the apartment. By 11:00, early for both of us on a typical day and especially on a weekend, we were both out cold. Got up again at about 6:30 this morning, and have basicly been lazing around the place for the morning thus far. Jess still needed to catch up on her sleep after basicly going without it for almost 2 days, so she went back to bed. I’ll probably run in real quick in a minute to check in on her, but I don’t really expect to see her up and mobile until about noon, give or take.

Completely unrelated, but it just came up. Someone thought it’d be fun to call me out in a comment to a month old entry and then go back in and delete it. Yeah, really putting it out there.