Sunday, March 31, 2013

An Inventory

(Cross-posted from our Facebook event - SAY GOODBYE! TAKE OUR STUFF!)

Three weeks until we say goodbye and you take our stuff!

Some items that will be available:

Ikea kitchen table with 3 chairs
7.5 year old futon with black metal frame
Joe's desk
My desk
Two plain ol' standard tube tvs
An LCD monitor - c. 2008
OMG Books (no fiction)
OMG Notebooks (all unused)
OMG Resusable shopping bags and shopping totes
Craft supplies - some fabric. Some cross-stitching cloth, sewing notions, shinies, glitter, etc.
A bag full of random things - there some blowing bubbles, a monk with a cellphone drinking a latte, a pride flag, shell casings, random stickers, a devil ducky, post-it notes, some pens, buttons, a voodoo doll... yanoo, random stuff

An industrial rack Joe uses as a tv stand
An old desk I use as a tv stand
Black wooden coffee table
Small boxes and baskets used to store things ( I think there are 15 of them as of right now)
General kitchen stuff, including coffee maker, toaster, and kettle
Set of four martini glasses
Set of beach appropriate margarita glasses (Non-BPA plastic)
Set of inexpensive stemmed wine glasses
Shot glass
Martini shaker
queen sized bed - mattress wrapped in anti-bedbug cover, boxspring still in factory sealed plastic
two different book cases
six drawer dresser
four drawers - narrow and made out of wicker


If you're in the market for something not listed here, let me know. We might have one we can put your name on!


If you want to come to SAY GOODBYE! TAKE OUR STUFF!, and you live in Vancouver, and you know me, or someone I know, hit me up on FB or leave me a comment and I'll make sure you get an invite.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Almost Over

We gave notice on our apartment a few hours ago.

I'm so excited to be leaving. SO EXCITED to be leaving.

One year ago today I lost my job with The Man. I have been unable to find a job since.

I think that's a sign that it's time to leave. There's no hope for us here.

Though I'm not sure if I am excited about where I am going or relieved to be leaving where I am.

Today is playing out much as I thought I would - laundry, packing, clean sheets, towels are heading into the dryer in like five minutes.

The only side trip today was an outing to the Coinstar machine, where our three years of pennies, dimes and nickles added up to $30.48 (which ended up being $30.50 because there are no pennies any more). I then lost that $0.02 when I bought an X-Tra Large Froster at Mac's and Joe bought two Two-Bite Brownies for $4.23 (which ended up being $4.25 because there are no pennies any more).

Hockey's on the laptop, it was gorgeous outside, I'm going to talk my husband into doing something about dinner, and then I will continue going through my craft supplies, trying to get what I need down to one box.

I'm STILL trying to make the one box work.

A good Friday

I got a lot done this Good Friday. I cleaned out the front closet leaving only what we will need to use for the rest of our time here (laundry soap, vacuum, broom, mop, dust brush) , the coats I am moving, and the coats the Joe needs to decide about. I vacuumed the floor of the closet and cleaned the top shelf. I cleaned out the four drawers I use as a bedside table. I cleaned out my hanging folder file drawer full of x-stitch patterns and cloth. I had this wild and crazy idea that I could move to Ontario with just one banker's box of craft supplies, but that is quickly going to become a funny idea I had once and had to reject in the face of reality.

Had some good new today as it relates to our move. I already feel less stress because of this news, but it certainly doesn't solve every problem, that's for sure.

Tomorrow we give notice on our apartment. I'm pretty excited about that because we both HATE THIS APARTMENT. It's ugly and small and hot. I can hardly wait not to live here.

Tomorrow is laundry, clean sheets, clean towels and a start on the actual packing of boxes.

I moved to British Columbia with two suitcases and nine boxes.

My goal is to leave with two suitcases and five boxes.

That is not a crazy idea.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Another list

  1. This:

  2. This too:

  3. It's official. I hate HTML. Blogger's defaults made this post into a nightmare. Trying to figure out all the tags start and end... what should have been a two minute operation ended up taking 15.

  4. I move in about four and a half weeks. I'm feeling pretty good about my progress, but it does concern me that there is not one job listed on LinkedIn for the place I'm moving.

    NOT ONE.

  5. If you want to come to my Say Goodbye! Take Our Stuff! party on April 20, hit me up on Facebook and I'll send you an invite... or remind you that I've already sent one you've forgotten to reply too.

  6. I am so looking forward to getting out of Vancouver. It feels like I'm halfway there already.

Friday, March 22, 2013


I don't know if you know this, but:
  1. I have never seen a Star Wars movie.

  2. I know "These are not the droids you are looking for.", "Luke, I am your father.", "Jedi mind trick",  and I know that someone loses a hand, at some point. I know these things mostly because of cultural references in movies and TV shows I have seen. Oh, and I know that Sam Jackson's light sabre is purple.

  3. I have never seen a Star Trek movie. I have seen key scenes from the original series. I know what the trouble is with Tribbles, I have seen the Kirk gets it on with an alien scene, and I know "Vulcan mind meld". I know that yelling the word "KHAAANNNN" is somehow significant, as well.

  4. Until two years ago I had never watched an entire episode of any version of Star Trek. I like Janeway, but Picard is going to be born on my 331st birthday, so we're awesome.

  5. I love George Takei because he's fabulous and fierce. Not because he was on Star Trek.

  6. I know the difference between  "Jedi mind trick" and "Vulcan mind meld" because I wanted to find out why Twitter was mad at President Barack Obama. Google knows everything.

  7. I saw Doctor Who when I was in kindergarten or grade one. Polka Dot Door finished, I left the room, and when I came back there was a man in a dark room who looked like he had half turned into a cactus. He had all these spikes coming out of his face and head. It terrified me.

    I was almost 30 before I found out that Doctor Who wasn't in the horror genre.

  8. I tried to LARP once. I ended up getting drunk at the bar across the street with the friend who brought me because someone decided that my "reason for being" wasn't proper to the story. Or something about my "progeny" not being plausible.

    It was a game about fucking vampires. THERE IS NOTHING PLAUSIBLE ABOUT THAT.

    RIP, Frank.

  9. I read a Terry Pratchett book once. I don't remember a thing about it. I don't remember what it was called. I think it's possible there were some elves in it.

  10. I read the four book trilogy The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to impress a guy. I don't know that it actually impressed him, but I do know that I understood many of his catch phrases and humour much better after reading it. All I remember at this point is "So long, and thanks for all the fish" and the answer to the ultimate question of life the universe and everything is 42.

    John, if you are reading this, yes, you were the guy I was trying to impress.

    No, I'm not proud of that.

  11. I played a table-top, dice rolling, RPG once. It involved the apocalypse and body armour. Perhaps an earlier nuclear annihilation. I did this because...

Yanno what, I'm just going to blunt here... everything classically nerdy I have ever done was to impress a guy I liked, or because I was in the room when the guy I liked was doing something nerdy.

That's how I learned to play RISK. That's how I learned to play poker. That's how I found out about Monty Pyton. That's how I learned to follow NFL football.

Left to my own devices I nerd out over Supreme Court of Canada rulings, feminist intersectionality, economics, organizing books, productivity apps, style, current events, the NHL in general, and the Montreal Canadiens in specific.  Most of these things are particularly anti-social, but I'm fortunate to have at least a couple of them in common with my spouse. My "mindless, zone-out" activities are reading the only fiction author I like, Michael Slade, and playing Zynga/Facebook flash games.

Don't judge me.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Breakup Song for a City

White knuckles and sweaty palms from hanging on too tight 
Clench of jaw, I've got another headache again tonight 
Eyes on fire, eyes on fire, and they burn from all the tears 
I've been crying, I've been crying, I've been dying over you 
Tie a knot in the rope, trying to hold, trying to hold, 
But there's nothing to grab, so I let go 

I think I've finally had enough, I think I maybe think too much 
I think this might be it for us (blow me one last kiss) 
You think I'm just too serious, I think you're full of shit 
My head is spinning so blow me one last kiss

Just when it can't get worse, I had a shit day (no!) 
You had a shit day (no!), we've had a shit day (no!) 
I think that life's too short for this 
I'll pack my ignorance and bliss 
I think I've had enough of this.
Blow me one last kiss. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A group of people with MS walk into a bar...

I've belonged to two MS groups on Facebook (I remain a member in only one), and probably a half a dozen other sites or forums at one point or another. On Facebook I've had some problems with being friended by women who think it's great that we both have MS and then being defriended shortly after they see the stuff I post to my wall. I post a lot of stuff about marriage equality, trans* equality, anti-bullying, anti-racism, atheist organizations, feminism, intersectionality, and rape culture. I also swear a FUCK of a lot.

This is apparently a problem.

It probably doesn't help that almost NEVER a happy person. I choose not to waste my energy seeking an ideal I've only been able to obtain in 10 to 30 second increments. I get the orgasm, I drink the cocktail, and/or I find the perfect thing, it's perfect for a moment, then it's done, and so is being happy for that day. I am content most days, but this constant drive to "Happy" is just one of those insane perfectionist, crazy making, unachievable ideals.

Fuck that shit.

That worldview don't go over so well with the chronically ill. I have yet to see the benefits of trying to be fucking happy when it comes to curing any of my MS symptoms. I try to remain positive around my friends and loved ones, if only to make sure that I am not alienating myself from them.

But the biggest thing I've learned in the past three years is that sometimes the only thing I've got in common with a person who has MS is the fact we both have MS. That's not enough to build a friendship around. At least for me.

Monday, March 11, 2013

This title has nothing to do with the content within

The prospect of moving cross-country in theoretical car that hasn't been purchased yet, in just six-ish weeks is daunting.

I don't regret moving to Vancouver, at all. I do regret staying as long as we did.

I've started sending emails to people I used to know. There are two people who've completely fallen off the face of the earth that I would like to say goodbye to, but it appears that they don't live in Vancouver any more either. It seems as though those couple of years are just as well left in the past.

I figured out that this is the first "new life" I've started that isn't because of the end or beginning of a romantic relationship.

"Now THAT'S progress!" I can hear my ex-therapist say.

Truth be told, I'm a little embarrassed about where we're moving, but I hope that my husband finally gets to realize his dream of a BCS sooner rather than later.

And maybe, just maybe, our luck with timing will change and we'll be in the right place and the right time.

Someday, maybe soon, I'll write about how Vancouver saved my life. Maybe that won't happen soon. Maybe I'll wait until I'm gone.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Surprisingly enough...

I'm not really angry any more.

Disappointed, yes.
Like a failed state, definitely.

But mostly I just wish we had enough money to just fucking leave in the morning.

Unfortunately, someone in Alberta, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba won the $30 million on Friday night, so my "leaving town independently wealthy" fantasy remains unfulfilled.

Now the task list is very simple.

Package up what we're taking, sell our portable air conditioner, (used five times, four years old this summer, perfect condition, $100 - East Van), throw out everything that we're not taking, buy a car, Joe writes an exam, we leave.

The exam will happen on April 19. We will leave as soon as possible after that date, but definitely before our tenancy expires on April 30.

I can barely stand the wait. I just want to go so badly.

Friday, March 8, 2013

As promised... Fuck This Shit

If you were reading last week, the title of this post means that I didn't get the job.

For the fourth time, it's come down to me and one other person and I wasn't "the right fit".

So that's it. We're done.

This decision was made weeks ago, contingent on this one last job prospect. Now that I have failed, there's only one choice. Joe and I will be leaving Vancouver at some point after April 20 and before April 30. There's no reason to stay.

For 48 weeks I have been unable to secure long-term, somewhat secure, non-exploitive employment. We've spent our savings, we've maxed-out our credit cards, and now we are almost out of Employment Insurance. We have no prospects. We're at the brink of poverty.

Joe has a plan for his further education that he'll be happy to share with you if he knows you.

I have no plan.

For the second time in my life I'm taking this absolute leap of faith and hoping for a survivable landing in a place I have never really been, pretty much sight unseen. I am unconvinced this the right thing, I just know that it's the only thing Joe can do, and I might as well go along for the ride.

That said, if we own something that you want, it's yours for $20 OBO. We are only taking our clothes, laptops, and a few personal items. Everything else must go. If it can't be donated or recycled, it is going in landfill.

I want to be full of foot-stompin' rage right now, but I just don't have it in me at this moment. I feel so defeated, rejected, and hopeless. Vancouver has made it clear that there is no place for me here, so all I can do is hope that something will be different somewhere else.

This is all I have to say about this right now. I'll be back shortly to vent my spleen about my experience with this city.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

43 More Hours

I will know the basic trajectory of my near-future life in 43 hours or less.

I will be an aunt in less time than that. Peanut will be getting a shirt like this, no matter what kind of plumbing kiddo is born with.

Peanut's mum just liked my Facebook message, so I assume the labouring is still going on.

If I get a job and a niece or nephew on the same day, that would be rad.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Saying what I need to say.

Basically, here's where I'm at these days:
  1. I have MS, and that fact colours every thought, decision, choice, and option I have in my life.
  2. I am feminist. Full stop, without apology, and with as little explanation as possible.
  3. I am an organized administrator; which is the least respected, appreciated, and rewarded of all the skilled labour sectors to be in.
Because I have MS, I have limits on what I am physically and mentally able to do. I have figured out work-arounds for almost all of the life situations I find myself in, and 99% of the time I am able to fully function in an abled world. The prospect of almost certain permanent, life altering disability hangs over my head like the blade of guillotine ready to end my life as I know it. I have to be real about my future and, barring some kind of medical breakthrough in the next 10 years, I will almost certainly be unable to work, support myself, or be a contributing partner in my marriage. In ten or 15 years I will be a burden to society, yet I will likely live another 35 or 40 years.

Because I'm feminist, this bothers the fuck out of me. I distinguish between my marriage and my relationship with my husband. I entered into my relationship as an equal partner who loved (and loves) him incredibly. I don't think MS has changed that emotional and loving connection all that much. However, I entered into my marriage as an equal in a legal partnership to allow the two of us to do greater things by sharing resources and expertise. Having MS means that I am pouring all of my current resources and expertise into educating and training for my husband, because he's going to have to make the big bucks over the long term. I am never going to be in the position to make my own life, set my own terms, realize financial independence, or get the degree that will allow me to be taken seriously professionally.

Because I am a career administrator, I have gone 48 weeks unable to find a somewhat secure, non-exploitive, respectful, and progressive employer where my skills are needed and appreciated. Women, especially white women, who get into "clerical" work are expected to use that role as a springboard to something else, and be the doting and professional mother of two children while they're springing. I should have a degree in *something* and do admin for a (almost always) white, straight, cis-male, CEO while I work on an MBA that will allow me to access the halls of corporate power.

That's what a woman in my position as a white, cis-gendered, middle-class born, het-married, woman should be doing. To not want that is to somehow sell-out my gender. To not exercise my privilege is a waste of good estrogen, apparently. Yet, I have no designs on capitalist, corporatist power.

I just want to help people do their best work. That's all I have ever wanted to do for a living.
I work in administration because I am good at it and I think I offer good value to my employer, but women like me are the most expendable in the capitalist world. We're the first ones to go during economic downturns, we're the last people to be hired back when things start looking up, and we're expected to take less and less money with each successive round of lay-offs and rehires.

As an example, my first admin job in the early 90s paid $8 per hour. Today, 20 years later, I can find jobs doing exactly what I did in my entry level position that pay $11 per hour. That's $3 an hour in 20 years. I made $1.65 an hour more than minimum wage back then. That job now pays just $0.75 over minimum wage. If I want to make something close to a living, middle class wage in administration, I need to get a degree, and an MBA, and spearhead some sort of "corporate mission" that will add zeroes to the bottom-line and exploit a desperate workforce. I don't have the time, ability, money, ambition, or interest in doing that.

So, as a person with MS, who wants to be an equal partner, and has job skills and experience that are now subject to the law of diminishing returns, I really don't see what the point of my life is any more. I wish I could change the world, but I don't know how. I don't know how the world would take me seriously, given I have no credibility as a scholar, researcher, business person, or educated activist. Forgive me if I am not out there trying to save the world from sexist, racist, homophobic, fat-shaming, transphobic, ableist, slut-shaming, victim-blaming, theist, capitalist, fascist agendas. It's really hard to take to the streets when you're trying to figure out where the rent is coming from this month, or where food is going to come from if you make the rent, or making a choice between bus fare to a job interview or bus fare to the doctor because you can't afford to do both this week.

Forgive me when I say that I just can't keep up. I want to, but I don't know how.

Friday, March 1, 2013

What The Fuck?

I went to the mall. This is what I found.


Second interview scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. "Very casual talk with the Directors", she says.