It’s the pre-departure oh my God drive me crazy writeoff monday mental checklist.

Try saying that 3 times fast. While you do that, I’ll be busy very quickly disposing of a departure Monday. This is more of a “God please don’t let me forget something” exercise primarily for me, but if you’re curious just how dead my Monday is, here’s a hint. I leave in an hour and don’t stop ’til Tuesday. Between now and then, I have a shitload of things to accomplish. In no particular order, I need to:

  • Finish packing things I’ll need to carry with me, IE: foodstuffs
  • Yank my phone off the charger, pocket phone, pack charger
  • Put together the package I’ll be shipping off on my way out of here
  • Hand mother relevant info re: packages to be expected in within the week that will also be shipped out while I’m not here
  • Drop into UPS/Purolator, fire the offending package across the border
  • Stop somewhere to grab something to take with me for supper
  • Also optionally grab lunch
  • Confirm the presence of the card I need to secure my bus ticket
  • Probably, misplace that card at least once–it’s not a complete trip without it
  • Run past the bank, deposit a money order
  • Take out US cash
  • Pray to God I have enough Canadian cash left over after the taking of US cash to shovel into my mother’s gas tank
  • If we’re not pressed, and we shouldn’t be, drop in for a haircut and an excuse to sit on something that isn’t moving umpteen miles an hour
  • Get in to the station in just enough time to grab my ticket and run
  • Barely make the bus–hi, Ottawa lunch hour traffick, nice to not see you
  • Breathe

Okay, I’ve had a full day just looking at this. Now to actually go do it. Catch you all in Rochester, unless I’m bored. Then it’s roadmail posting. Behave. Or, if you absolutely must avoid behaving, go hang out with these two for the day. Probably enough mockery between them to make up for my absense. If not, I have enough saved. Catch you tomorrow!

No, I’m not. Would you like me to?

On our way back to Canada before Christmas, we did stumble across the required small amount of duh-worthy amusement that seems to find one or both of us on every trip. This in the form of an overly inquisitive and way too curious customs officer who decided, after establishing that Jessica would be visiting her boyfriend–me–in Canada, decided to ask her twice if she was planning to move there. And if she was sure she wasn’t. And every time, she reasured the officer in the same manner that no, there were no plans to randomly decide once she’s over here to just sort of stay put. At least not on this trip. After the interview was over and it was decided both of us were neither terrorists nor future immigrants–apparently they’re on the same list, now, we both had to ask. what would have happened if she’d said yes? The way customs person was going about her questioning you’d almost think a wrong answer to that particular set of questions would have had her haulled off the bus and questioned in more detail in one of those little dark rooms you’re only allowed to see when you’re in the deepest level of shit. I get security. I get paranoia. And I get amusing as hell. This, ms. customs lady person thing, was amusing as hell. Thanks for this. Oh, and by the way. The terrorists are in the next car over.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Things that must be done pre-road trip, in no particular order.

And maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll get around to actually doing said things.

  • Toss laundry in the machine
  • Go through stuff I haven’t unpacked yet from the trip to the parentals’
  • Unpack anything I might need, and pack it with the road trip stuff
  • Wash anything I forgot I didn’t wash before coming back here (hey, it happens)
  • Go clean out the downstairs mailbox, so the mail I won’t be collecting for the next two weeks has somewhere to collect dust
  • Double check my schedule
  • Double check my mother’s schedule
  • Get a straight answer out of said mother as to when she’ll be here, with whom and for how long
  • Get dishes out of the way
  • File yet another unemployment report (I’m really getting tired of doing that)
  • Charge my cell phone
  • Run by the bank
  • Find my sanity, if I have any left

Gawd, in a way I’m glad I’m not moving. Life, thy name shall be chaos.

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.

Things I learned that manage to surprise me.

In list format, because lazy is me.

  • Microsoft can, in fact, make a program that doesn’t die horribly when you try to add something extra to it. They just don’t do it very often.
  • Clearly, some people’s definition of accessibility is far different from mine. This is why we have issues, folks.
  • I have incredible patience for technology that doesn’t want to cooperate.
  • I have no patience for people who don’t want to cooperate.
  • even works sometimes. Now hopefully it’ll work when I want to actually buy the ticket.
  • Even when I have plenty of energy, list format is still for the win.
  • PS: Job market, I still hate you.

Tax time: the era of secrets and surprises.

And I see no reason for this year to be different. Jessica (samari76) asked me what I was doing last night, because while I was talking to her and Gina (nightdrake), I was also busy plugging away at the computer. At first, I thought about just being out and out honest with her. But, well, that just wouldn’t be any fun. So I told her I was reading up on a baseball game I’d recently taken an interest in playing; I said I’d found a strategy guide to give me a hand so far as getting myself into the game a little more involved like. Bold face lie, but for a very good reason. The ugly truth of it, which she’ll be made aware of fairly soon, is I was finishing up with this year’s taxes–the taxes that, also in keeping with my dishonest streak, I told her I was still waiting on a handful of paperwork to complete. Now, at least one of you is probably curious why it is I wouldn’t just come right out and tell the truth. I mean, she’s my girlfriend, after all, and if I can’t be honest with her, we have a problem. Except we don’t, really. I’ve already completed the paperwork, and am expecting roughly $1600 back as a result. All of that money is going towards haulling my broke ass out of debt. And, as a subsequent side-effect of such financial decisions, I will then have room remaining money-wise to go about the business of purchasing a Rochester bound bus ticket. Neither Jessica nor Gina are aware I’m plotting such wicked evil cruelness. Which, also, is my explanation for this, my only *ever* filtered entry on this here LJ. And it won’t be permanently filtered. As of right now, only Jessica (samari76) and Gina (nightdrake) don’t know this entry exists. Jessica, because well, it’s to do with a surprise she more than deserves, and Gina, because at the moment, she’s staying with her for the week, which unfortunately makes her filtered by association. When things get all official like, this will officially join the massive collection of publicly searchable entries on this here LJ. But until then… shhh. You know nothing, you saw nothing, I’m planning nothing. For now.

ETA: Well, that didn’t last long. Note to self: you need a new strategy. Like, now. On the bright side, no further need for that filter.

The rest of the visit, and new years.

As is to be expected, after my last post Jessica (samari76) and I pretty much just hung out and did that thing where we were several different kinds of lazy. Y’know, like we’d planned on doing. Sunday was her departure date, so we just wanted to enjoy what was left of our week together. When Sunday did finally get here, I let her sleep most of the morning, with her having gotten up at about 10 or so. We took our time in getting things ready for her to leave, and at about 1:00 or a little after, I called the cab to get her to the bus station. I sat with her until they pre-boarded her at just after 2, and then cabbed it home. She called me at each major stop, so I was able to keep an eye and make sure it wasn’t too difficult to get her home before it became too insanely late for her to bother with actually going to work. Her bus to Buffalow ended up not leaving Toronto until half an hour or so later than it was supposed to, which put her off schedule by just enough that she missed her connecting bus to Rochester. The next one wasn’t due to pull out until quarter to 3, so naturally, she was more than a little tiny bit on the pissed off side. Apparently though, at about 1:00 or so she was able to get aboard a bus that was passing by Rochester enroute Seracuse, I believe, and the driver had offered to drop her in Rochester on the way even though he wasn’t actually scheduled to stop there. So, she was able to get home at about 2:00 or a little after that, at which point she ended up calling me to let me know. She was supposed to get in at just after midnight, so all things considered we weren’t doing entirely too bad there. She went to bed pretty much right after talking to me, and the rest of the week so far has been business as usual.

I still haven’t the slightest idea what either of us will be doing for new years, though. My parents apparently just plan to sit around at home and watch movies, and the last I’d heard, Trish and her husband were planning on doing the same in Ottawa. So my new years plan may very well consist of kicking it around the apartment here and enjoying the fact I don’t have to be anywhere to attend any family functions. As far as I know, Jess’s plans for new years have pretty much fallen through, so hopefully she’ll be able to come up with a back-up. I think she mentioned something about getting together with a few folks and cracking open something alcoholic, but we’ll see if that ends up going through. I was supposed to have been there with her, but my lack of finances this month have sort of made that not happening in the worst way. So instead, we’ll both just have to settle I guess for a phone call at or about the stroke of midnight. Ah well, I’ll just crack open a coke, or a beer, and watch the ball drop on CNN or something. I’m not hard to please.

Weekend in review, and go time.

It’s official, I can has lazy. But I still managed to complete 2/3 of my Christmas shopping on Saturday. So far, I’ve gotten things formom, dad, the brotherling, and half of Jessica’s (lj user=”samari76″>) gift. The other half I’ll be getting when I come back from her place next week. Sunday was pretty well spent in lazyville, and Monday was taken up with getting things ready to go. Today is pretty well a writeoff. I got up this morning, packed up my crap, and now the only thing I need to do pre-departure is wait for my phone to charge. Fun shtuff, to be sure. Which it’s apparently just done. Which makes this a whole lot easier. Now, I just go be all listening for the call from the motherling that says she’s parkinglotted. T minus 13 hours and counting.

James 1, Greyhound sucks.

So. Road trip planning adventures took another turn this week. I called into the greyhound station last thursday or friday, and telephone monkey told me I should have no problem purchasing a round trip ticket to go see Jessica (samari76) over her thanks giving next week. I get to the station yesterday, and right off the bat I have this feeling like it’s gonna go nowhere fast. We get this middle-eastern fuck who probably should have been running a mob operation, not sitting behind the counter at a bus station, and from the get go he’s giving off the appearance of a guy who really can’t be bothered blowing a few precious minutes talking to such lowly individuals as Trish’s husband and myself. I’d say something, he’d start talking literally before I even got half of what I was saying out of my mouth. Then he’d walk away. While I’m still talking, mind you. Eventually, he ended up coming back, saying he can’t put the round trip through to there and there’s nothing we can do about it. Trish’s husband speaks up, and again, buddy turns around and walks off before he’s finished. He comes back and says the same thing. I start to tell him well fine, so we’ll make it 3 distinct transactions. I know they can do that, because out of boredom I worked it out online and it didn’t fall over on me. But again, the little prick cuts me off and says they can’t put it through. Trish’s husband suggested we grab someone from security, or a manager, but truth be told, and this coming from someone who’s not usually the type to swing first and ask questions later, if I’d stuck around there trying to get a word in edgewise with this guy much longer, I’d of probably slugged him one. To add to the mix a little bit, he gave off the impression that the best thing that could happen to him that evening was if the two of us just turned around and headed for the door. And we both sort of got the feeling that if there weren’t additional people standing about there, he’d of probably come out from behind that counter and helped us do just that. So we took off, and I promptly tried to go at it again online. Of course, their system choked on itself again and wouldn’t let me do what I wanted. So this afternoon, after giving myself time to cool off so I wouldn’t blow up at the first person to answer the phone, I called back. This time, I very carefully explained exactly what I wanted to do. And again, the telephone monkey told me they couldn’t do the round trip option. No duh, that’s not what I was after. Siiiigh. So I explained it again. I planned instead to make 3 separate ticket purchases. One directly from Ottawa to Rochester, since the system would let me do that. Then on the return, I’d purchase a one-way from Rochester to Toronto, and one from Toronto to Ottawa. I think a lightbulb clicked on at that point, as she very quickly was all “oh yeah, well that shouldn’t be a problem at all”. So we go back to the station tonight, and explain it exactly the same way to the guy at the counter. At least this guy seems to have half a brain, because his first reaction wasn’t to go chat it up with his coworkers for a couple minutes and pretend to be confirming something. Still, first thing he does, even though I told him it wouldn’t work, is try to run the round trip option. No dice. No shit. Then, I explain it to him again. Now he wants to argue with me because the system won’t let me purchase a ticket from the US unless I’m in the US. And because it’s going to a different destination than I’m leaving from, he can’t do it. Siiigh, again. People suck. So I explain to him, in even simpler terms. When I leave Ottawa, I’m transferring in Toronto, and then carrying on to Rochester. He got that part, apparently. When I come back, I’m gonna do the *exact* same route, only in reverse. So I need a one-way ticket from Rochester to Toronto. He starts to talk over me again, and I just shake my head and finish what I’m saying. That half a brain must have kicked in at that point, because as soon as I told him I was also getting a ticket from Toronto to Ottawa, he seemed to instantly know what I was talking about. Well. Now that we’ve got that cleared up. Next came the actual purchase, which turned out to be hella easier than the explanation. A total of 3 transactions later, which was exactly what I expected, and I walked out of there with a vacation plan, and the means with which to do so. So, long story short, I’m stateside for a week or so starting on this coming Tuesday. Like this trip I took at the end of August, I leave here at about 2:30, more or less, and show up in Rochester at about quarter past Midnight. I get back to Ottawa late on Sunday like no one’s business, but oh well, that would be life. As per usual when I go out of town, I’ll have cell/texting capability. Email will have to wait ’til I get to the other end though. Next time, I’ll just do my purchasing through the computer and skip the having to explain myself to people altogether. Things go a whole lot easier/faster when I hand the service monkeys a couple of reference numbers and all they have to do is not screw up printing off the tickets.

Oh, and PS: Greyhound, you fail at everything from accessibility to customer service.

Dear Greyhound: Die. In a fire. is still busted, apparently. But the good news is, I can, apparently, hopefully, buy it over the phone. For $20 more tacked onto the price. Um. Buh? Do the vacation gods not want me to go anywhere near that border? Understanding not I am. Does somebody maybe wanna clue me in? Like, um, wo.

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.

James 0, life 2.

List format, because I’m lazy and everyone’s heard me curse enough on this thing this month.

  • Fired off an application for Convergys on Monday evening.
  • Called back on Tuesday (unusual, given it’s rememberence day), right at the ass crack of 9:00. Gave the usual I are blindy shpeel.
  • Was supposed to hear back from them tuesday afternoon regarding screenreaders and such, didn’t happen. Craptastic.
  • Fired off a couple more applications while waiting. They haven’t so much as said thanks yet.
  • Convergys finally called back. No go on the screenreader. Thanks for coming out.
  • Phoned in another application, emailed them my resume, and actually got an email in return; it was an automated form letter, but I’ll take it.
  • Oh yeah, and Greyhound refused to do, like, anything I want all week. Figures.
  • Dear life: fuck you.

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.

Good, I don’t have to shoot anyone.

Jessica’s bus ended up finally getting going again at a bit after 7 or so, so she was able to make a later connection. Unfortunately, it means I’m now at my place waiting for her bus to be in town so I can meet her, but at least she’s still not stuck at ye ‘ole international border.

Side note: I brought the earlier purchased external HD with me, and have started porting all my videos and whatnot over to that one. The other HD, the smaller one, will be for music only, I’ve decided. Now let’s see if I can actually stick to that.


Jessica’s (samari76) still stuck at the US/Canada border. And for a change, it’s not because she didn’t clear customs. Her goddamn bus won’t start. Fortunately, that’s all it is. Unfortunately? That’s a really, really big problem.

I are not deaded!

Contrary to popular belief I still check on this thing (I’ve even been dropping comments!). There’s just not been any actual content dumped in here in a small age. Really, up until recently there’s not been a whole lot of shtuff to remark on. I finished up my trip to Jesica’s (samari76) by us ordering out on the Saturday, and just taking the evening to do that thing where we be as lazy as the day is long. I made it back to Ottawa in one piece, naturally, and pretty much took it easy for the next week or so. After that, things started to sort of happen in pretty quick succession. I’ll try and catch folks up with what I can remember, but it’s been pretty non-stop for a bit.

I found a handful of jobs that were subsequently applied for, though as of yet none of them have called me back. I’m still keeping my eyes open for leads, but as it stands right now, it’s not looking entirely too promising. Trish made mention of a site looking for someone specificly familiar with Freedom Scientific‘s JAWS for Windows program. And, since I, well, use the thing, I figure what the hell. She informed my mother of this, though, and in typical mother fashion, she knew there was a company that was looking, but went and forgot the important information. Specificly, um, which company. Brilliant. So, it’s pick Trish’s brain time. Other than that though, employment situation’s pretty well the same; that being completely and totally not there. Go me.

I also get to spend two weeks in Pembroke, *without* the parentals. I’ve been requested and probably required to take advantage of my unemployed status and am house sitting for them while the mother thing flees the country with my dad for a couple weeks. Which basicly means quality time spent with the puppies, and an actual house to myself. Complete with a decent satelite TV package. Not that the cable package I have is anything to be considered small, but hey, if I’m not paying for it, that just makes it that much better. At some point I’ll probably end up catching up with a few other members of the family, but for the moment, piece and quiet is the order of the day.

Well okay, that and hockey. The preseason has snuck up on me; I thought it started later than it actually did. Instead, it starts tonight. In… about half an hour, actually. Nifty and all that. Everything is right in the world. And the regular season starts in plenty of time for another little piece of excitement to happen.

The weekend of our thanks giving, Jessica will be coming up here to spend it with me and the family. She’s never actually had, I don’t think, what I’d call a family get together for thanks giving. Or if she has, she’s not told me. So this will be good for her. Plus, you know, the fact I’d love a chance to get to spend more time with her, even if it’s just for a few days. We purchased the ticket last monday, and as it stands now, she gets here on October 10th, and goes home on the 13th. The plan, then, is to have the dinner itself on Saturday, when we’ll have most if not all of us together for it. Which will actually be nice for more than one or two reasons.
So there, I’ve been busy. Just not necessarily, um… well, active. Oh yes, and LJ idol? Not happening this year. Obviously. Next year, though, we shall see. Depending entirely on how lazy/motivated/whatever I feel when it comes up.

Oh, and before I forget (I know, I already pretty much did), happy belated birthday, Nefertiti (almadefortitude)! Hopefully this trip around the sun’s as good as or better than the last one. Although by the sounds of it, it seems to be improving already.

PS: Piece and quiet can start now, seeing as the fire department just picked *now* to inspect our smoke detectors. Not pretty when you have two very territorial muts.

I are here, and still kickin’ it.

There’s a very good reason why it is there’s been a decided lack of an update since, like, Thursday or Friday. That of course being that I’ve just been having way too much goddamn fun. I took off from my place as planned at 2:30 on Friday, and got to Jessica’s (samari76) about half past midnight, or there abouts. The trip itself was fairly uneventful, with the exception of one of the drivers I had getting all uppity about the usage of cell phones. I managed though to keep Jess updated about what was going on, as well as my overly paranoid family. It only took me about an hour or so to get cleared through customs, and that went with no problem whatsoever. Well, for me, anyway. Apparently when we got to the stop in Buffalow, we had one less person on the bus than we had when we left the stop in Toronto. Oopsies. I imagine Jessica was pretty well tired though, seeing as she didn’t really get a whole lot of sleep going on while I was on my way down, so we ended up sleeping in until Julie called us for a little spontanious get-together. Always fun, or so people have been telling me, anyway.

We hooked up with them at Jess’s apartment, and headed out to a local diner for lunch. Until this week, I had no idea a lunch date with friends could go all afternoon. This one did. Poor girl tried to convince me to sample some of her apparently “really awesome” garlic bread, but after finishing my own lunch there was just gonna be none of that going on. We kicked it to a local ice cream shop afterwards, and all walked outa there with shakes of varying flavours. All told, we didn’t end up actually saying goodbye to Julie and her boyfriend until somewhere in the neighbourhood of 5 or 6. That night was its own variation of interesting, too. We got home and put our feet up for a bit, before going to pick up Tasha, a girl she works with, who’d mentioned wanting to meet me and do some drinking that evening. I will say this much for the evening though. One well-mixed screwdriver should not have sent a girl like her over the edge like that. Jess and I were sort of the short order babysitters for the night after that. Apparently this girl had made a showing of telling them she had quite the tolerence for alcohol from her days in college. Which, for the record, ended not more than 2 years ago. She even kinda mentioned that to me a time or two. So when she told me she wanted a 50/50 screwdriver, I had no problem giving it to her. And she had no problem chugging half of it inside of 5 minutes and being pretty well trashed from then on. We tried to get her to take it easy, but she was having none of that. The girl needed to sober up, in a really bad way. So Jess tried to make her something to eat while I stuck around to keep face from meeting floor. Eventually, we did that, but that so wasn’t helping her case any. Eventually, she did manage to finish her first drink, actually taking her time with it this time, though she kept almost begging us to give it more alcohol. It was about that time when apparently an old boyfriend of hers chose to call her up. So now there’s her, sitting on Jessica’s coutch, and about bursting into tears right there because apparently this dood was 7 different varieties of asshole towards her. Jess was getting pissed, and well, you know me, drama and I don’t get along. So I walked over, she handed me the phone, and I hung up on him. Of course, there was the requisit flipping out, but I think she knows now it was deserved, and something she should have done without my help. I mean, sure it’s neither my or Jess’s business what’s going on, but she was invited over to have a good time, and proceeded to do anything but. And I could tell it was ruining Jess’s attempt to have a good time. Then came the endless circle of her alternating between appologising for a bag of chips that somewhere in the events of that evening ended up spilled, to appologising for crying, to talking about exactly how gone she was, telling me to promise I wouldn’t hurt Jess (um, okay?), and telling Jess to promise she wouldn’t screw it up (um, again, okay?). Throw in there every so often her just saying how she just wanted to go home and pass out, and probably do something I don’t even want to know about with a guy she has an interest in but has never actually met yet. Neither of us could really get a decent buz on that night until after she left, which she eventually did when Jess called her a cab, as well as the hotel because she *really* was in no condition to be going anywhere by herself, even if it was just to her room but she was having none of that staying here for the night business. So between the two of us we managed to get her downstairs and into the cab, then Jess told the driver where to take her because Tasha clearly didn’t have a clue. We finished our drinks after the cab pulled away, and by that point all the party mood had kind of disappeared, so we just headed for bed. And sure enough, 10 minutes after we got there, it was goodnight Jessica.

We got up fairly late the next morning as well, and again met up with Julie and her boyfriend for lunch (this one was actually planned). We wanted to check out a local hotdog place, but apparently they decided a Sunday afternoon, at the end of August, on labour day weekend, and at the start of the football season, wasn’t the ideal time to be open for business. So we checked out a local diner for the second day in a row (a different one this time, of course). And again, lunch lasted from about noon or 1-ish when Julie and company showed up to about 4 or 5 of that afternoon. Then we went back to Jessica’s apartment, Julie and her boyfriend hung out with us for another hour or so until their ride showed up, and after that we had the evening to ourselves.

Monday was the big cellebration of sorts that she wanted me down here to attend. A bunch of us got together, including Julie, her boyfriend, a much recovered from her hangover Tasha, and several other people she both worked with and was good friends with. We hit up the Cracker Barrel, where again we all ate way too goddamn much for our own good. It was very good though, and I had no problem with skipping supper that night. Neither did Jess, for that matter. We ended up grabbing something light to snack on later that evening, but mostly, we were good in that department.

Tuesday Jess ended up back at work, not that she wanted to be or anything. So I took the day to see if I couldn’t get her computer to play nice; it’d developed quite an irritatingly nasty spyware problem. I got quite a bit of it off, then broke when she came home and we sat and talked for a bit. She wanted to show me the local bbq place around here, so we kinda made a date out of it. First time since I got here we were able to actually do something on our own, which was very nice. The atmosphere was relaxing, and except for someone who had way too much alcohol and had to be walked out of the restaurant, I had a good time and I think so did she. We got back here and thought about hitting up a coffee shop, but by the time we got there it was closed. So instead, we ended up back home and just called it a night.

I have no idea what the hell we’ve got planned for tonight yet. Jess just got home now, and I’ve got her putting her feet up to get over the afternoon’s heat. We’ll probably make another try for the coffee shop we couldn’t get to yesterday, but at the moment, I think she’d be perfectly fine with just sitting here for a couple hours and eventually doing the zombie thing. As for me, now that she’s here I do believe I should actually be spending time with her. I’m learning a hell of a lot about the way things go down here though, and maybe after I get back I’jll publish some of those lessons. For right now though, I’ll just publicly acknowledge what I’ve already admitted to her. Even the rule that everything’s better in Canada has its exceptions.

Pre-awakening ramblings, or something.

So. It’s that day, and nearly that time. I’m pretty much all packed, and just need to do that thing where I run around the house for 30 seconds or so making sure I’m not forgetting something critical to my vacationing. Like, say, my ID. Because that would just be all kinds of sucky. I have apparently been given only one option for departing today, and that’s via the passenger seat in the mother thing’s vehicle. Which, well, I’m not exactly about to complain; I didn’t *really* want to pay for cab fair anyway. But still. An hour and a half away just to drive me to the bloody bus station? Kay, mom.

I’ll get to doing that whole waking up thing at some point in the not too distant future. Maybe. But in the meantime, because I’ve already missed one and am going to miss the other. Happy belated to djner, even though you probably aren’t about to see this any time soon. And, happy birthday, Michelle (sheyrena)! I’d save it for when you’re actually awake, but I’m in all likelyhood not gonna be here then, so you get an LJ one instead. Hope this year turns out as good as or better than the last one, for both of you.

Well now. So much for “your information is secure/bank reps will never ask you for your password”. Amusing as hell, to put it rather nicely. But I’m still quite glad I’m, uh, not anywhere near being a customer for this particular bank. Hmm, wonder if I should try that with RBC. Okay, I’m sufficiently amused now.