Friday, April 30, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Pay Day 

Weekends that follow pay days are the best ones. I got a very healthy paycheque this time around just because of the 104 hours that I worked in two weeks, not to mention the time and a half that I got because I worked on Good Friday. I squirrelled some away to pay off my first Mary Kay purchase, paid off all my bills (including my Visa!) and I'm looking forward to the weekend.

As much as I want it to be, this will not be a "chill" weekend. I'm still going to take it as easy as I can though, despite what the next two days are. Tomorrow I will be helping Mrs. Maguire sell all the garage sale items that were collected before the sale was called off. I'm supposed to help her paper the town and carry the items out to the front lawn for display. I'm so glad that the main garage sale was cancelled and I totally feel guilty about it. Just because we were really counting on this to contribute greatly to our monies. There simply weren't enough choirs that were interested enough to buy tables. I can't understand why, at $30/table, you keep all the profits, sounds like that damn good deal to me. I think the problem is that traditionally choirs aren't very good at getting organized, that's all. This all just means that I will not have to be present for the WHOLE garage sale though. It means that I can skip off early.

Then on Sunday is Beltane. I'm really looking forward to it. We skipped out last year because it looked like it was going to rain (it turned out to be perfectly sunny). I really enjoyed myself when I went for the first time two years ago. I don't want to write much about it now, because I will certianly have much to say about it on Monday. Suffice to say that I will have to make a pot luck dish and I was thinking of adapting my Tom Yam recipie for that. I was thinking that this is such a white person's festival and there will be all these white people food that they need something to spice it up. There's me and there's this other black guy and that's all you get for racial representation at Beltane. What I'm going to do is to do the Tom Yam recipie, but at the point where I have to add the water, I will turn the fish out onto a banana leaf-lined baking pan, add the smashed stalks of lemon grass and the lime juice and stuff it into the oven. Jim's dad is making prawns and he's making two giant ones for Jim and I just so that there will be something Atkins friendly there for us to eat. I'm really appreciative of that, especially because those giant prawns (each one about 8 inches long and 2-3 inches in diameter) aren't cheap, and I've always been curious about them. Perhaps this will inspire me to cook them myself.

I've been playing Riven lately and cheating shamelessly. My excuse is that I have already tried to beat the game and as I read the walkthrough, I can see that there are things that I would definitely not have been able to figure out for myself. I'm starting to fall in love with the game all over again though, it's so gorgeous and the puzzles are really fun to unravel. I bought the Myst trilogy ten-year anniversary special edition on DVD discs. Basically it means that I get Myst, Riven and Exile on just three discs. While Myst only shipped on one CD, Riven and Exile ship on 5-6. It was only $29.99 too, which is a steal considering current video game purchases.

I left it to the end of today to write this entry and it's already quitting time. Oh well, not that I had much to say in my fish blog anyway. Finally, I get to go home and stay there for the first time in 12 days.

posted by Joie! at 5:33 p.m.


Thursday, April 29, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________


I have decided not to go to choir today. This is my 11th day in a row working at CallTrex and I'm tired. I'm getting good long sleeps at night, but the fact of the matter is that I have worked 11 days in a row. My only consolation is that tomorrow, although it would be my 12th day in a row, will be the last day I will have to work before I get a day off.

There were two reasons why I took the shifts that have so grossly enlarged my work week. Both equally compelling. First of all, a major client was supposed to go live this weekend. They used to have an account with us, didn't like our service and cancelled their account. (Frankly, it's not that we were giving bad service, it was that they didn't want to pay our fees which can run rather high) Eventually they figured (with the help of our sales person) that they really did need our service and decided to re-open their account. In view of this "history" that they have with us, it was vitally important that there was enough people working on the weekend so that all of their calls would be answered. Secondly, there was the overtime pay.

Or so I thought. This is what the BC Employment Standards Act says about overtime:

Daily Overtime

After working eight hours in a day an employee must be paid time-and-a-half for the next four hours worked, and double-time for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in a day.

Weekly Overtime

  • An employee who works more than 40 hours in a week must be paid time-and-a-half after 40 hours.
  • Only the first eight hours worked each day are used to calculate total hours for weekly overtime.
      - For example, An employee who worked six 11 hour days in a week, would be paid 18 hours of daily overtime and eight hours of weekly overtime at time-and-a-half.
A week runs from Sunday through Saturday for the purposes of calculating overtime.

But I was paid straight time for the 14 hours that I had worked on the weekend at the end of my 37.5 hour week. When I asked the office manager about this she said that the company only pays "Daily Overtime" and not weekly overtime. I worked 104 hours in the last two weeks and I wasn't getting paid overtime. I SMSed Jim to let him know the dismal news. Jim insisted that companies have to honour both overtimes. So I got a hold of the toll-free number for the ESA office and got Jim to call them with this question.

So it turns out that they have to honour BOTH daily and weekly overtime. I didn't quite know how to approach this subject seeing as how I already spoke to the office manager and she said that they only honoured daily overtime "as per legislation". I'm not the type to keep quiet, especially when I've worked my butt off and I feel as there is more due to me. I brought the issue up with a supervisor whom I trust and now she's talking to the managers et al. I hope I'm not targeting the future as being a shit stirrer or anything.

I feel that I brought up the subject rather diplomatically, saying that it wasn't a complaint, nor was it a demand for more money. I am of two minds as to whether I should have brought it up especially after my failed attempt to bring it to the attention of the Office Manager, but I work hard (especially if you take into account how rough my last week was) to make sure that things run alright for the company. I'm not about to get shunted for that.

posted by Joie! at 4:56 p.m.


Wednesday, April 28, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Culinary Exploits 

Inspired by the success of last night's Tom Yam soup I decided that I would try to make meatloaf. I've always been intrigued by meatloaf, but it's such a whitebread recipie that I've never had the guts to try it. I thought about it and really, it's like a meatball, only bigger and baked in a loaf pan. I bought a pair of loaf pans not too long ago and I decided last night to use them to make meatloaf.

1lb ground pork
1lb extra lean ground beef
1 tbsp (heaped) tomato paste
3 squirts mayonnaise
1 tbsp (level) cardamom
1 tbsp (heaped) sage
1 head roasted garlic*
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup grated Edam
1 cubed portabello mushroom
2 large eggs

1. Put everything except the meat and the eggs into a big bowl and stir until everything is well mixed
2. Add the meat and knead until it doesn't appear that there are two different kinds of meat
3. Add the eggs one at a time, add more eggs if it looks like the mixutre needs more binding
4. Hopefully before step one you preheated your oven to 350ºF (180ºC) *hee hee*
5. Divide the mixture between the two loaf pans and bake for about 45 mins

*Take a head of garlic and chop off half a centimetre from the whole head. Leave the skins on and the cloves attached. Put the whole head into tin foil, pour oil over the head. Close tin foil, bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for one hour. Excellent if you mash it in with mayonnaise and add pepper and chipotle/mexican chilli powder. It's also really good when mashed into potatoes with liberal amounts of butter, but that's not Atkins friendly.

I noticed that the meat shrinks like guys in cold water after it's fully cooked. Tasty meal, and the prep time was so short. Plus Atkins bonus, the entire thing could not possibly be more than 30g of carbs. I could have made it without the garlic, onions or tomato paste, but then it would just be baked, seasoned meat, with mushrooms. I have to say something about portabello mushrooms. Man are they good. I think tonight for dinner I will have some more of that leftover Tom Yam soup and some grilled portabello mushroom. They don't go together, but what the hell, They both taste good. Oh and the meatloaf goes awesome with avocado

So I've been doing Jim's birthday present shopping and so far I've got an impressive list of presents. I bought the one that I'm the most proud of today: a triops kit. Basically all he needs to do is to add water and these pre-historic things come to life. In less than 30 days they can get 2-3 inches long. The idea is that he's 21, so he needs adult things like a leather wallet to replace his canvas one and an electric shaver for times that he needs to dry-shave, but he still needs to play and that's where the triops kit comes in. I'm just thrilled, can't wait to give him the stuff. I just bought wrapping paper today though, ridiculously overpriced for something that will be torn and thrown away, but I believe in presentation.

Oh yeah, and I'm trying to develop a recipie for low carb chocolate cheesecake. I spoil him sometimes. The important thing is that he spoils me all the time.

posted by Joie! at 4:49 p.m.


Tuesday, April 27, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Toil and Trouble 

So last night I flipped and decided that I needed to eat something very South-East Asian. Curries were out because coconut milk has an alarmingly high carb count. Well, that's not true. You could have a drink made out of coconut milk and still be okay on the diet but you can definitely NOT have a coconut milk based curry. Besides, curries are only good with rice. Stupid Atkins. I was also craving seafood, but I had to cook something that Jim would eat too. (Jim is the pickiest eater I have ever met. He will only eat white meat on poultry, and lean meat on red meat. He eats little else) So I racked my brains and decided to cook Tom Yam soup. I've never made it before, had no idea what went into it, but here's the recipie I came up with on the fly:

6 In ginger (finely grated)
1/2 cup chilli (pounded)*
1 bunch cilantro (finely chopped)
1 lb prawns (peeled)**
1 kg halibut steaks (skinned and de-boned)**
3 stalks lemon grass (smashed)
quite alot of lime juice
quite alot of oil

(Let's ignore that I switch from Imperial to Metric as and when I feel like it. OK? Thanks)

1. Cover the bottom of the pot with oil, add chilli, ginger and cilantro. Stir over medium heat. Let it start bubbling, kinda.
2. Add the prawns and halibut (the halibut should now be in chunks). Coat with the oil/chilli/ginger/cilantro
3. Add water to cover everything in the pot. Add lemon grass and the bones that came off the halibut. Cover, turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
4. Simmer until fish is firm and opaque and prawns are bright pink. About 5-10 mins
5. Splash in lime juice and sprinkle salt until you think it tastes like Tom Yam

*the chilli came out of a jar, I bought it in the "Asian foods" aisle
**peeled/de-boned/skinned so Jim would eat it

I was damn impressed with the results. It was so frigging good and I made such a big pot that there's plenty leftovers. I watered it down a little after dinner trying to make it stretch further but that was a bit of a mistake. It's still good, but it was better before. I think I might be able to fix it if I add more lime. Mmm seafood Tom Yam soup. Totally made up for the fact that the Induction phase of Atkins is so limiting. I served it up with chopped cucumber with salt, flavoured oil and raspberry. A nice, cool contrast to the spicy strong flavours in the soup.

I feel like there's wasted potential in me because I'm not developing my culinary skills (unless you count watching the food network). Then again there's alot of potential that I have that I'm not developing. I'm shirking karmic responsibility here. I'm doing something about it though, I just don't want to publicize it just in case that I develop my potential and it turns out not to be all that fantastic. If I'm successful though, I'm going to be spreading the word. I'm of the school of thought that if you don't succeed, obliterate all evidence that you actually tried. I think I will succeed though and I'm excited to get started. *mysterious look*

Meanwhile, I have been going on a book search. I've had a sudden craving for John Bellairs and I guess he wasn't all that well known resulting in most of his books being now out of print. I don't know why though, his books are frigging awesome, a really easy read. He wrote primarily children's books but he wrote one adult novel, called "The Face in the Frost". Chapters tried to get me to pay $36.50 for the book (not including shipping and taxes) but I found it listed on Alibris for $3.95 and when I contacted the seller directly, the gentleman told me that he would gladly ship the book for $2.50. I also found this on for only $5USD. I'm just hoping and praying that this guy isn't going to charge me ludicrous shipping. I don't usually bid before I get shipping info, but look at it! I couldn't pass that up.

I don't know why I've never heard of Alibris before. It's an awesome website where you can find out of print books at great prices. Most of the stuff is second hand, but the book descriptions provide a good idea of the condition of the book. I appreciate that. I'm a real Nazi when it comes to book conditions. If anyone's wondering, I still plastic wrap my books and stand by that practice. Plastic wrap is really expensive here though, so I don't do it for every book. I'm just so impressed with Alibris, because I'm finding books there that Amazon can't connect me with.

posted by Joie! at 4:04 p.m.


Monday, April 26, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Daily Grind 

Today is my eighth day in a row working at CallTrex. I will be working straight through to Friday and then help run a Garage Sale (the Choral Federation's Garage Sale) on Saturday. Overtime is just too tempting (I get paid 50% more per hour if I'm doing overtime) to pass up and this weekend we were so short-staffed that I was able to pick up TWO shifts. In light of the fact that last Monday-Friday were pretty much all 12+ hour days, I really should have just backed the hell off and taken the weekend all to myself. But I made my decision and like it or not I'm going to have to stick with it. I didn't just do it for the money either. There wasn't anyone else saying that they would pick up the shift so I didn't want to leave the office dramatically short-staffed, just because a major client was supposed to go live this weekend. (It ended up that they were not ready to go live and will go live this Wednesday. Still.)

The concert on Friday was phenomenal! I didn't realise just how good the children's choir is. The biggest voices were coming out of the tiniest kids, beautiful voices too. Not to mention the songs were so cute, but obviously technically difficult. I was blown away. I don't know what Mr. Pullan thinks about Anna Magdelena's portion of the concert though, but I'm sure I will find out this Thursday. He did thank us after one of the songs, which I see as a good sign.

Over the weekend I read "The Thief Lord" by Cornelia Funke. I have a penchant for children's books because more often than not the plot is as good as a plot that you can get reading an adult book but the author is less full of themselves. Not to mention that children's books retail for less. While the writing was very simple in the book, the story was bloody awesome. I don't know whether I want to re-sell the book or keep it. It's definitely something that I would like to re-read. The thing about books is that I feel very gulity about buying them just because I read them so fast. Everyone tells me that I should go to a library but there are two reasons I won't.

1. You don't know who before you has touched the books. Where they have left the books. Whether they picked their nose/scratched their ass before they turned the pages.

2. (and more importantly) I owe the Vancouver Public Library $300+ and the Coquitlam Public Library $400+. I can still get a new library card because I have a new address now, but going on my past record, I really don't think I should take that risk.

The worst part about the Thief Lord is that the author has written another book and now I really want to get my hands on it. The problem being that it hasn't come out on paperback yet. Considering how much entertainment (in hours) that I get out of a book, I cannot justify buying hardcover editions. Oh well, I guess I will just have to wait it out then. Perhaps I will read that biography about Mary Kay that Karenza lent me. I hope it's nothing like Mary Kay meetings though.

posted by Joie! at 9:46 a.m.


Friday, April 23, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

R E S P E C T  

I hauled my butt to choir last night despite how tired I was feeling because it was the responsible thing to do seeing as how we have a concert tonight. I was in such advanced stages of exhaustion that I would lose my balance just standing still. But I still went to choir because it was the responsible thing to do. The youth choir rehearsal was okay, that choir doesn't have a concert tonight. It sucks that my entire section doesn't seem to be able to sight read in the least, but oh well. What really really really pissed me off was the Anna Magdelena rehearsal.

Let's start with a run-down of AM. We are a group of singers hand-picked from the female voices in the Chorale and the youth choir because Bruce Pullan (conductor) recognizes that we are able to handle more difficult pieces. It's like the "best of the best" type deal. Last night, not many people turned up despite the fact that it was the responsible thing to do, seeing as how we have a concert tonight. Bruce Pullan wanted to cancel our section of the concert because there just wasn't enough people to sing. (Many singers already told Mrs. Maguire why they couldn't be at tonight's concert)

So here's the deal. Bruce starts insulting all the singers present, telling us what a shitty job we did at Thursday's concert, how we made so many mistakes that it was a complete travesty. How tonight's concert is going to be just as bad if not ten times worse because we have fewer singers. He proceeds to get us to sing excerpts from the music and when we make one mistake, instead of correcting us, he just gives this exasperated gesture and sighs, "It's not going to work, it's just not going to work." Then he passes snide comments about how we "really depend on certain singers here". So what, all the people who are present just really really suck and can't hold their own and we are completely dependent on the people who are absent. Thanks for making us feel valued. You picked us buddy.

Not to mention that I was sharp all of last night owing to the fact that I was just absolutely, rock-bottom tired. Every five seconds he would turn and glare at me. "You're singing sharp. Why are you so sharp? Stop singing sharp. Can't you not sing sharp?" Look. I could have not attended the rehearsal at all last night, and I'm missing something I really want to get done to be at the concert tonight. (I'll have to wait a whole month before I can get this thing done now) I needed rest last night, anyone looking at me could tell. I DIDN'T HAVE TO BE AT THAT REHEARSAL AND I DON'T HAVE TO BE AT THE CONCERT TONIGHT. But I was and I will be. Thanks for acknowledging the effort I'm making to be an active and contributing member of AM.

I don't think the solution to absenteeism is berating and disrespecting the people who do make the effort to turn up. It's counter-intuitive, doesn't make sense and makes us all feel completely unimportant to the whole group. Bruce Pullan's behaviour last night was absolutely unacceptable. Prior to this, I looked up to him greatly, admired his talent and had great respect for his skill. Now I don't know what to think about him. Last night I thought he was a fuck stick of course, but I spoke to Jim about it and he made a good point. People act differently depending on what is happening in their lives. I don't know what was going through his head/what happened during his day/week/month and perhaps he was/is going through a hard time/had a rough day. I know that behaviour like that is inexcusable regardless. But I also know that I don't treat the people around me fairly when I am experiencing difficulties in my day-to-day either.

I'm still going to turn up for the concert tonight. I just don't know what I'll do if he gives me any more grief for being sharp because with the amount of sleep I'm operating on, and the level of sheer physical exhaustion that I'm experiencing, I will be sharp. That's a fact and considering how badly he needs our numbers there, he had better suck it up.

posted by Joie! at 8:54 a.m.


Thursday, April 22, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Point of Exhaustion 

At least I'm past the halfway point of the working week. It's become a week of 12 hour days not to mention my "girl thing" is here, which really only makes me more crabby and tired. So that doesn't help. Far from bitching though, I think that this is a very productive week.

Monday I put in my first order for Mary Kay. Apparently I qualify for a free umbrella too. It's pink, I like it, it's foldable and I just threw out my old one because it was broken. I just hope that with summer coming up I will not have to use it all that much. To digress a little, I don't understand the rationale behind dull coloured umbrellas. Rain makes the landscape dreary enough without soggy gray umbrellas gracing the scene. My last umbrella was red. A bright colour has powerful psychological effects and my red umbrella made me feel a little bit better even though it was cold piss raining.

Tuesday. Well Tuesday was just insane and you can read about it here. I'm not going to talk about it again, only to say that I did get to play a bit of Black and White, but I'm so bad at the controls that I've decided to get Jim to play it for me while I watch and make comment.

Last night was the only night that I was able to go straight home after only 8 hours of work. I played Stronghold which is a medieval sim. Interestingly enough, my guild on Neopets was named after the game and the images in my guild are taken entirely from game graphics and screen shots. I digress. It's an interesting game, but it is not immediately apparent how to get things done. I failed a single mission three times, but I think now I know how to win it. I like playing sim games. Oh Lise, if you are reading this, I found your copy of the Sims and will mail it over if you want.

Tonight I have choir until 8 and tomorrow I have a choir concert until some ungodly hour too. The only thing that really hurts now is that I cannot rely on sugar for an energy boost because I'm on Atkins. I'm surprised. It seems to be working. I've been on it for a week and a bit and I'm already noticing the change. Perhaps it's because I've stopped my medications. Perhaps it's the diet. It's probably a combination of both though and I'm certainly not complaining.

posted by Joie! at 3:32 p.m.


Wednesday, April 21, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Saving the Day 

So I get this email at work from Tom just after yesterday's meeting that I was unable to attend because I was at work. It was a harrowingly written piece. the gist of it being that BCYC 2004 would be cancelled in 24hours if we didn't find more bases. Richard Nace who is this year's conductor picked some very complicated pieces for the choir to sing. He also told us that he would like a choir of 50-60 people, and someone said yes. (I think it might have been Ryan...) With this in mind, he picked pieces with a myriad of divisi, which normally would not have been a problem, if not for the fact that this year Chorfest is not on the May long weekend, that the University Singers are going to Ireland that same weekend, that the National Youth Choir is being held that get the idea. We had a total of 20 applications. That was last week. Since then, we've all busted our asses to enroll more people and while our numbers are looking better (i.e. we can do the music if we all sing real good) the bases crisis threatened to unravel everything.

Dramatic stuff. On Saturday night, after the "find more singers or we're not going to have a BCYC 2004" directive, I called Krista who used to go to school with Jim. Right now she's studying voice at Kwantlen (I'm turning green with envy as I'm typing this) and has also been in the Surrey Youth Choir for a good long time. I didn't think that this call would really yield anything because we had sent out information to both of these choirs ages ago and so she surely would have heard about it and decided not to go. She hadn't heard about it from either choir. Worrying, but at least it meant that I had a fresh lead. She mentioned that she had a friend who was a base who would probably be interested.

Remembering that Krista had that base friend I called her last night. What ensued was a phone tag game that lasted 2 hours (bear in mind that I didn't get home until 8:30pm last night) with Krista, Benn (the guy that saved BCYC 2004) and Mrs. Maguire. Phew! I was so pumped after that excercise that I could barely sleep, and indeed all my dreams last night were really active ones. Not that I remember what they were, but I know that one of them had to do with Dairy Queen coming up with 0 carb Blizzards and that I was trying to buy one for breakfast. (??!)

Last night was a very stimulating one for me. In addition to the BCYC escapade I got my new computer and am finally playing Black and White, which I've wanted to play for close to two years now. Also, there was that staff meeting. The staff meeting was awesome, I got to meet everyone invovled in the company and got a good sense of the direction this company is moving in, the vision the founders have and the attitudes that run through the place. It's a very positive place to work in and I like that I'm not working for "the man" but for four guys who thought this was a good idea and who recognize that we are the ones who will make or break this company.

I just hope that tonight will be a little more mellow. Today is the only day this week where I will not be pulling a 12+hour day. I need to not have to do anything. ANYTHING. Oh, maybe a bit of Black and White couldn't hurt.

posted by Joie! at 10:12 a.m.


Tuesday, April 20, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Close Neighbours 

There's this Chinese proverb that states that close neighbours are far more valuable than distant relatives. If you think about it, that's probably one of the wisest things that anyone has ever said.

Last night the Canucks played the Flames in the last game of the series. The Canucks lost, but the important thing was that Jim and I were invited to watch the game with occupants of three other apartments in our building. There were two couples and a single guy, all of them around our age. They look like a fun bunch and apparently do all sorts of things together like a board games night. (While passing around a doobie, but that's another story)

Okay, I'll talk about the doobie. It was my first time actually being around people who were smoking weed. Sure, you walk past them at SkyTrain stations and bus stops and outside grocery stores and in the park and on the beach and outside lecture halls and restaurants and the Dean's office...but I've never been in a room where people are passing a doobie around. It's really weird how the use of Marijuana is so acceptable here. It's not even criminal anymore. It boggles my mind. I also cannot understand how people can smoke it. I was in the room for about half an hour and my throat was all singed and gummy from inhaling the second hand stuff. Remember that doobies are not filtered. It has the same effects as alcohol on your state of mind and I really think I'd rather endure a hangover.

Enough about weed. I'm really excited about having friends in the building. Think about it, I haven't had friends for over three years now. I'm so excited about having people to invite over that are not Jim's parents. Not that I have anything against his parents, but I need people that are about my age! Especially now that I have a place that I want to show off. They are all cat lovers which is my preliminary test for everyone. I have this theory that anyone who loves cats is alright. Cats don't give unconditional love, they are independent and don't need you to survive. To be able to love a cat, that shows depth of character and a sensitivity that the average person does not possess. Cat lovers unite!

I'm feeling really good about where I am in life right now. I think I am officially turning my life around. I have a NICE place to live in, I'm losing weight on Atkins and I have new friends that I think will become good friends. Oh and my computer is coming today, which means that I can play Sims. Sims Sims Sims Sims Sims.

posted by Joie! at 3:30 p.m.


Monday, April 19, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Weekends are Nice 

Aaaaahhhhhhh. I'm finally getting full weekends. I can't say how long it's been since that has happened. I'm so much more appreciative of my two days off in a row that I get to spend with Jim since I've been deprived of them for so long.

We had huge plans for this weekend, but as weekends would have it, we got really really lazy. Eventually we went to IKEA and got our computer desk and forgot a dozen other things that we were supposed to get there. Eventually we got to the pet store to discover that the fish we needed weren't there. Eventually we did the dishes and our laundry. The weekend wasn't a waste, but it was definitely lazy.

I had no idea how expensive coin laundry is! I thought the idea was to give people who couldn't afford machines a cheaper option to clean their clothes with. I worked it out. Basically if I were to buy a washer and dryer (apartment-sized) they would pay for themselves in about two years. Maybe less. So think about it this way, buy the machines on a line of credit and use the money that would otherwise be plunked into those coin slots to make the monthly payments. Makes perfect sense to me. I don't even need a washer and a dryer. It's cheap enough for me to wash the clothes, it's the dryer that breaks the bank. You pay 25 cents for 7 minutes and it takes about $3.25 to kinda dry your clothes (I have clothes hung everywhere!) I think I'm going to buy a clothes drying rack...or an actual dryer, which would pay for itself in less than a year.

First things first though. I have to buy a dishwasher. When considering dishwashers, I had to ask myself whether I would pay $500 not to do dishes for a year or two. Startlingly, the answer is yes. I just think about how much time I spend doing dishes. Whether it's after dinner when I would much rather be vegging on the couch/doing something relevant (the results of either activity being rather similar...) or on the weekends when I have let it pile up during the week. Weekends are not made for house work, especially not after not having weekends for the longest time. Besides, the dishwasher is certain to last 5-10 years, and has re-sale value. Jim wasn't so sure about a dishwasher. I told him that I would pay him $500 to do the dishes for a year and a half. He's actually considering it. Didn't expect that.

Something has to be said for expensive cuts of meat. Jim's dad came over last night with two giant marinated New York Steaks (I ate half of mine last night and the other half for lunch today....soooo stuffed). These are the mongo expensive ones that you buy down at Granville Island public market. Jim and I never buy steaks from there just because we stock up on Safeway sale meat (never more than $3.99/lb!). The New York Steak was so goooood. It was tender, flavourful and just the perfect texture. I couldn't believe what I was eating. Of course Jim's dad's marinade helped, but still! I guess it's the same principle as my suddenly having weekends and thinking they are the best thing in the world. I don't often eat steak of that caliber and I'm so much more appreciative if I do. That's the best argument I can think of for not eating steak that good too often. It's so bourgeouis to say that I really couldn't afford to. *grin*

posted by Joie! at 2:18 p.m.


Friday, April 16, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Spring Concert 

We assembled in St. Mary's in Kerrisdale last night for the Spring Concert. Jim and his mom came to watch. I have to say that having people that are in the audience who also spend time with you in real life makes a huge difference. If there's no one there that you know, I find that you are less aware of your performance and that you are on auto-pilot. Just because there were people there to watch me last night, I felt so much more invovled in the performance. A more organic connection, I guess. It's hard to explain because it's not like if there's no one there to watch me I deliver a sub-standard performance, it's more like...well.. urm yeah, let's just pretend that I never tried to explain this concept. Those of you who get it can "Write Me" and tell me how.

When I joined the RGS choir back in '97, I remember my conductress telling me that singing was an activity that involved the whole body. I didn't understand her and therefore didn't really believe her. Think about how much of your body is involved when you speak. As I've moved forward as a singer, I'm continually astounded by how true that statement is. Last night I had to hit some pretty high notes, but because I was singing with my entire body it was surprisingly effortless and indescribably satisfying. I was in this workshop once where the facilitator said that if you are singing in a choir and you cannot hear your own voice you are doing a good job. It wasn't a very good description of the concept she was trying to describe, so I'm going to paraphrase it. I think what you should hear when you are singing in a choir is your own voice, but your own voice sounding like it is being produced by an outside source. I heard my own voice last night and I was very, very pleased.

I guess I never thought that I could get very far singing. So far though I am in the city's youth choir, the group of women's voices culled from the youth choir to perform more challenging works and in the provincial youth choir. I've sung a solo with the university choir (at the Chan no less!!) and scored a solo at last year's BC Youth choir performance. For someone with no formal training...I don't think I'm doing too shabby. All these elements combined have given me a sense of confidence in my potential and really makes me wonder what would have happened if I wanted to major in voice. (Contrary to popular belief there are many well-paying jobs for people who graduate with a Bachelor's in Music). Perhaps I'll explore that path after I finish my current degree, which will be a bit of a joke, thanks to UBC doing stupid things with my program.

*sigh* I wish I had enough money for voice lessons. Voice is an instrument and I really would like to gain better mastery of it. I've got the potential, and I believe that if you've got undeveloped potential, your karma is going to suck. If you are given potential, it is your responsibility to maximize it. That's what I think anyway and if anyone is interested in donating to my voice lesson fund, I've got a PayPal account... :D

posted by Joie! at 10:26 a.m.


Thursday, April 15, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Vancouver Heritage Awards 

The 25th Annual Vancouver Heritage Awards were held last night. To celebrate this occasion, the Vancouver Bach Youth Choir was asked to sing at the Awards, which we haven't done before. I don't know how to describe how I felt about the whole ceremony. It felt like it was a bunch of WASPs patting each other on the back for succeeding in squirrelling money out of BC's budget to restore and maintain buildings that have historical significance. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the preservation of a city's culture and heritage. But last night someone got an award for the restoration of a men's bathroom. I think they did some plumbing work and put in new urinals...or something.

COME ON PEOPLE! You're honouring some guy for fixing up an old bathroom. There were other stupid honourees, but I don't want to get into the whole list. They did honour two private homeowners who took the trouble to restore their 1910 and 1920 houses respectively. I thought those awards were worthwhile. Afterall, they didn't take anything away from the provincial budget and they made a significant contribution to Vancouver's heritage. I don't know how I would feel if I were that lady who put in all that time and money to restore her 1910 house just to be grouped in the same category as the new urinal project.

This in-between speeches were insufferable. It was just stupid kinda-famous people making unfunny quips while their rich white comrades laughed at them (the quips, not the people, unfortunately). The songs we had to sing were bloody inane too. If you want to have your music published and sung, write a song about Vancouver. The existing songs don't really set a very high standard. Not that there are that many existing songs and from what I heard last night, apparently they are looking for more.

We sang three songs. The first one wasn't so bad, it was a little dated, but it had its charm. The third one was a little over the top but it was still a decent piece of music. The second one was the travesty. I was the one who went to photocopy the manuscript at the Vancouver Library. It was on a yellowed non-standard size piece of paper, handwritten, all in treble clef (no harmony) with the chords scribbled in in guitar shorthand above the bars. I'm not one to judge a book by its cover, but if I judged the music based on how I found it, I would not have been all that far off the mark. Childish lyrics, simplistic tune. When we were singing it I could see that the audience did not know whether to laugh or not. Larry Campbell actually introduced it as one of his favourite songs. No wonder the Lower Mainland is going to pot.

Larry Campbell is the Mayor of Vancouver, in case anyone was wondering. Don't worry, I wasn't too clear on that myself until last night. An affable man, not a bad speaker, but is politics are abysmal. He broke every single one of his campaign promises and then some. His party is the reason healthcare is on the decline, single mothers are screwed and my tuition is going up. He gave out pins with the word "Vancouver" to the choir last night for being at the ceremony. Hmmm. A Vancouver pin. Well then, that makes everything better.

I guess I didn't appreciate the ceremony so much because I saw it as a bunch of rich white people sitting around and going "Look what you can do with money spent in the right places?". They were all applauding the heritage bylaw (passed not too long ago) and patting each other on their backs. I'll say this again. It's very important to preserve a city's culture and heritage. But when your city has a tight budget and houses Canada's poorest postal code(s) I don't think the city's decision makers should sit around and congratulate each other for pumping funds into building restoration. The Vancouver Heritage Awards is 1 and a half hours of my life that I'm not going to get back. Hey, at least I got a pin for it.

posted by Joie! at 2:37 p.m.


Wednesday, April 14, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Pink Cadillac 

So last night was my first real training session as a Mary Kay consultant. It certainly was an interesting experience. I am still blown away by the cheerleader over enthusiasm that oozes from every woman that has achieved significant standing in the company but I'm starting to get used to it. To be fair, that kind of in-your-face-we-are-the-best-thing-to-ever-hit-earth-so-
let's-all-jump-up-and-down-about-it attitude is prevalent in all the organizations that give you the opportunity and resources to start your own home-based business. The real reason last night was so interesting is because I learnt to put on make up.

We had hired this make-up artist from Saskatoon (if I lived in a place with such a stupid name I would kill myself. Or I would move, whichever...) and she basically recommended colours for us and then taught us how to paint our faces. I didn't know that you needed three colours for your eyes, three colours for your lips and two colours for your cheeks. Luckily for me she looked at my skin and told me that I only needed a light powdered foundation. I saw her prescribe three products for most of the people there that night just to cover up their face! I probably would not be able to deal with that. Prior to this, I have been an adamant make-up nazi. For sure I am a convert now! The difference that the right instruction and the right colours makes is incredible! I could still recognize myself in that mirror, but I was definitely happier with what I saw. Another bonus is that now that I know how to put on makeup, I'm one step closer to selling that stuff successfully.

The funniest thing. After the class ended, my team (I'm pretty sure that it's called something fancier than "team" but I can't remember now what it is) had a quick meeting in the back. Jim was supposed to pick me up at 9:30 but as we all know that when women assemble nothing is definite. So we were wrapping up our mini meeting when the rest of the team were commenting on my makeup. Diane was asking to make sure that I had a ride home and I mentioned that Jim was coming (now it's 9:55pm and I'm just thinking about poor Jim waiting in the parking lot). Then all the ladies started wondering if he was going to notice the difference. I said no, mainly because the car was going to be dark. Everyone thought that was a bit of a shame because the makeup made such a dramatic difference and we all started to come up with ideas to get Jim to turn on the light in the car without drawing reference to my it would look like I wasn't turning on the light for him to look at know? :P Turns out because Jim had been waiting for so long, he was behind us THE WHOLE TIME. Being the first time he had turned up at Mary Kay my team had no idea that -he- was Jim... *hee hee hee hee*

I've just realised that I don't talk about Gato much in my blog. That's bizarre because I talk about her incessantly in all other parts of my life. I got her from a pound about a year ago and since then she's become alot closer to me. She's become alot more affectionate and she's also started sleeping with me at night. There's something really special about the love of a cat, just because of their independent natures. A cat does not have to give you the time of day to get by. Really. So when Gato rubs up against me, joins me in bed or watches me bathe (for some reason she really really likes to watch water) it makes me feel that there must be something more to me, for me to be important to her. She doesn't need to be affectionate. She certainly wasn't when I first adopted her. But she is now. :D I love my cat.

Read more about her here.

posted by Joie! at 11:00 a.m.


Tuesday, April 13, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Standing Up 

In case anyone was wondering where I work and the nature of my job: I work at CallTrex. So I'm looking right now at the list of names that I have written down to help me keep track of things here and if you go by the notion that your personality can be deduced by your handwriting I think I have a disorder of some kind. It's not that my handwriting is messy or anything, it's just that every single name looks like its written by a different person. *rolls eyes* It must just be one of those days, my handwriting is not usually this tempermental.

If there's anything that I've learnt from my dad is that when dealing with retailers the squeaky wheel gets the grease. You are the only person that is going to take care of you. When I was dealing with the Brick, it took forever to get decent customer service (and by forever I mean a weekly phone call for three weeks). I should not have had to work hard to get updates on my file. Besides, when you are replacing defective merchandise, you don't usually replace it with more defective merchandise. Really. But the new mattress came with a hole in the fabric. Long story short, we got $400 back from the Brick, which means basically that we got the mattress at cost for all our troubles. If I hadn't established from the start that I was not a person to take things lying down, I don't think we would have received such good compensation. Which brings me to today's topic. eBay.

So I bought a walkman off eBay. It was billed as fully functional and brand new. It was cheap but shipping wasn't. All in all I paid less than $20 for it, which is not bad. Only the damn thing won't play tapes. The seller has a returns policy and a contact email. I have sent three emails in the past week and they haven't responded to a single one. Luckily, I have records of all the emails I have sent. The only problem now is that they say they will only accept returns within 7 days of receipt. It's been 7 days and they have not responded to any one of the three emails that I have sent (the first one was sent out the day after I had received the walkman). Well, records of emails aside, I've now filed with SquareTrade. They had better be prepared to send me a new walkman at no cost to me.

My current big hangup is looking out for myself. It's not how it sounds, it just means that when dealing with people outside of your friends/family circle, it does you no good to be nice. Of course you start out being nice, but you also harbour the assumption that the people with whom you are dealing with will not return the favour. This means keeping receipts, making note of conversations/agreements. Initially I thought behaviour like this was better suited to the paranoid, but it's actually served me quite well. So there we go, that's my advice for the day: Cover your own butt because no one else will.

posted by Joie! at 10:44 a.m.


Monday, April 12, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Long Weekend 

This is the first weekend in a long time where I actually got both Saturday and Sunday off. Incredibly luxurious. For the past month or more I was getting one day off a week if I was lucky. I think I worked 13 days in a row once. Well, this was the deal.

When I got laid off from BC Hydro (because the program I was a part of when bankrupt) I was just fishing around for jobs and resolved to take the first one that came my way just to be sure of a paycheque. That's when I got a job at the pet store...I was only able to get hours for Sunday. Then I got the CallTrex job immediately (2days) after my BC Hydro contract was terminated. CallTrex initially offered me part-time so I held on to my pet store job. Also, I stuck with the pet store out of a sense of duty because I got a job there even though there were no job openings. Then Mosaic Sales Solutions got my resume off Yahoo Hot Jobs and offered to pay me $200 for 8 hours of work if I dressed up as the Cat in the Hat and pranced around WalMart promoting the VHS/DVD release and P&G cleaning products. See how the hours add up?

Sunday was awesome. I went to the pet store expecting to put in my last eight hours of work there and it turned out that the mall was closed so I had already worked my last shift! I felt so obligated to get things done with this unexpected free I took a good long nap. :P I feel kinda regretful for doing that seeing as how we're having the best weather since last summer right now. My excuse is that since it's only the start of spring, I can expect many more days like that. I feel so refreshed today having had those two days!

Easter dinner was phenomenal, least of all because I didn't have to do any work. We had a massive turkey with stuffing, roast-garlic mashed potatoes, peas, carrots, gravy, candied yams and sweet potatoes, some kind of spiced cranberry sauce and not bad white wine. After I had loaded my plate I could barely pick it up. Brian (Jim's dad) did all the cooking. I was so stuffed after dinner that I could only eat two bites of the desert (french fresh fruit tart). Mmmmm just thinking about it is making me hungry right now. There was so much leftover from the meal too. We just brought back a hunk ot turkey though, we're starting the Atkin's diet today. We were doing before, but we were doing it all wrong. Now that I've bought the book, we're going to start anew.

I can't emphasize enough how awesome I feel after having a weekend. I get this upcoming weekend off too and I hope that these hours stay regular....

posted by Joie! at 12:32 p.m.


Thursday, April 08, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________


With the Easter long weekend coming up everything's going to have to come out of their boxes. Having things in boxes has this temporary, nomad-ish feeling to the apartment. I like my new apartment and I want to feel settled in as soon as possible. Besides, with all the clutter lying around, it's very difficult to adhere to normal routines because of the transient feeling boxes inspire. I mean, Gato's been really pissed with me because I keep forgetting to feed her and for the longest time I couldn't figure out why she would wait on the floor in front of me and then blaze to the end of the living room when I moved. The I realised that the end of the living room was where I put her food bowl. I'm regretting that now because she won't eat food from any other location and the only reason I put the food bowl there was that it would be out of the way of all the other boxes. Now I can't move it if I wanted to. I should also really start to feed the fish their colour enhancing flakes too. I've fallen out of the every-other-day routine because I find feeding them pellets so amusing. (see fish blog for details)

The long weekend will also allow me to hit IKEA with a vengance. I need a computer desk for my new forthcoming computer (!!) and a coffee table or a TV stand depending on the cheaper solution. This new place inspires quite a bit more housekeeping pride than that the hole I moved from and I would very much like to buy "organization solutions". Well, really, all I'm thinking of is a nice table to put keys and other things that come out of pockets when I come home just so odds and ends don't end up all over the place. It will also mean that I don't waste 10 minutes in an exit scramble because I don't know where I put my keys the last time I got home. The fact that I have storage space now is in itself an organization solution. :)

This Sunday will also be the last Sunday that I will have to work at the petstore. I really didn't like working there, but I love the -idea- that I was working there. If you know what I mean....It's a very well-run pet store and it really takes care of the needs of each individual animal. It inspired a sense of pride but the bottom line was I was cleaning up after stupid animals. Well not all the animals there were stupid, just the puppies. And the puppies were the ones that needed the most cleaning up after. I'll miss the pet store, but not too much.

Happy Easter everyone!

posted by Joie! at 10:26 a.m.


Wednesday, April 07, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Power Buy 

I don't want to get into the habit of posting more than once a day but I think writing about more than one main topic/post is a worse habit. :)

So I've bought a computer. A Dell desktop for about $1500 after taxes (damn taxes). It's going to arrive on the 23rd of April and I'm so excited. It's the most major purchase Jim and I have made. We decided that we might as well sell our laptops (both of which are currently not working but can be repaired cheaply) to get a desktop which would service us much better. It's a Pentium 4 with amazing speed and memory. Well, to be honest, its got amazing speed and memory for what we're going to be using it for. There are much better computers out there for the taking, but why pay more for something you don't use?

The reason we bought the computer is that right now is having a promotion in which you can get free shipping and a free printer. That works out to about $400 after taxes and God knows that I need a new printer. If you would believe I was working of a HP Deskjet 660C that is probably as old as my youngest brother. It finally ran out of ink and I wasn't going to pay the $50 for new ink cartridges. I figured it was time to get a new printer anyway. The printer that I'm getting with the computer is amazing. It can print photos and also doubles up as a photocopier. I'm really longer will I have to go to that shop opposite Kinko's to print my stuff or put up with the UBC Library's stupid and expensive printing system. Plus, because we have a digital camera, we can now print out our photos! Exciting!

It's also a very interesting experience. It's been a year since I've moved out on my own and I feel as if I've been consistently been upgrading. First were the small things, like a colour cell phone and a DVD player. Then there was the queen sized bed because the old one had springs poking out in odd places. (Actually so did the first matress that I got...which is why I got a replacement at no cost to me...) Then I started buying premium cat food for Gato. The good stuff without weird ash filler. I've moved to a bigger place, I've traded cable TV for all 92 channels of satellite (it's actually cheaper, strangely) and now I'm buying a computer.

I'm not terribly materialistic or anything. It's just very empowering to be able to provide for myself and to maintain a relatively high standard of living to boot! Right now I'm looking into buying some apartment sized appliances but that's a few pay cheques away...doesn't mean I'm not going to be thinking about it though! Having purchasing goals helps me keep everything in perspective. :)

Disclaimer: I should mention that I got the cell phone on the government plan (I was working for the provincial electrical provider at the time) which for $20/mo gives me caller ID, call waiting, voicemail, text messaging, free evenings and weekends (6pm-8am) and 200 anytime minutes. I should also mention that I received $400 back for the new bed because of a long story involving disgusting customer service at the Brick AND the bed came with a free flat screen TV. I should also also mention that I purchased my satellite dish when there was that promotion which gave me free installation and free dish. I guess the point that I'm trying to make here is that I'm still a student on a student's salary but I'm willing to seek out deals to be able to afford what I want. And it's supremely empowering.

posted by Joie! at 6:31 p.m.


Bigger People 

So when Jim went to talk to my landlady last night he offered to pay for the additional cleaning that she says the suite needs. She said that after deducting the week's rent, the cost of replacing the blinds (boy my cat -trashed- those blinds) and the classified ad there was $50 owing to us. Then she told Jim that he can either finish the additional cleaning himself or cover the cost ($100) of hiring someone to do it. Please bear in mind that we have left the place in much better condition than we had received it! Besides, I don't buy the $100 cost because the spots that she pointed out that had yet to be cleaned were under the stove and under the fridge. I don't think moving those appliances to mop the floor beneath constitutes a $100 labour and supplies charge.

You can expect that I was livid to hear that Jim offered to pay her an additional $50. Bear in mind that the only expense that we were obligated to pay was the cost of replacing the blinds. Given her son's actions, we did not have to cover the rent until the new tenant moved in and no tenant is ever obligated to pay for classifieds unless the tenant breaks a lease. (We didn't even sign a lease when we moved in) I am speechless at her audacity...asking for more money! We are not a charity and her financial position is no one's fault but her own. I told Jim that she can keep the security deposit, but to make it clear that we would not hand over any extra money. Jim's a good guy and he believes that one should always leave a place clean. I believe that one is only responsible for returning a place to the condition it was when one received it. *sigh*

I just want to clarify something though. I don't dole out goodwill freely. I was more than happy to help out my landlady, that's why I agreed to cover the rent, that's why I agreed to pay for the classifieds and that's why the place was cleaned to better than when we had gotten it. I would also have been more than happy to pay for additional cleaning. EXCEPT that of late she's been rather hostile. We went to great lengths to make things smooth for her. She did not return the favour. In fact, while I was using her laundry facilities for the last time, she constantly pestered me to finish up and point blank refused to let me wash my comforters. She's got these amazing high-capacity machines that let me do two comforters at once. She knows that I'm moving to a building which has coin laundry. She also knows that I think sharing washing machines with strangers is gross. Let me put this into perspective. We pretty much gave her our entire security deposit and she could not even give me an extra load of laundry?!

I am only generous to the people I love, with the expectation that they will extend similar sentiments to me. I wanted to help out my landlady because while I was living there she was my friend. When she stopped becoming my friend, I wasn't going to be the schmuck. I guess Jim's the bigger person because he was willing to help her out to the end. I still think that we should have asked for the remaining $50 back.

posted by Joie! at 3:11 p.m.


Tuesday, April 06, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Rough Spots 

Give me Advil or give me death! *mmmaarrffff*

The move has left me stiff, bumped and bruised. I don't like taking painkillers because I believe that the more you can do without them the better. Ibuprofen is an anti-imflammatory drug though, and Jim says that it -helps- your body when you have tense muscles. Based on that, I -might- take some later on, but right now I think I will just whine about it.

My old landlady with whom I used to have an awesome relationship is behaving rather strangely. She's hostile and looks as though she is trying to get a little more money out of us. Jim thinks it's because she has alot on her mind right now...considering that she has yet to tell her son that she has levelled criminal charges against him. But still, we've been awesome tenants, reliable with the rent and very accomodating. We paid for part of the classified ad when we told her that she had to find another tenant (totally unnecessary) and helped her show the apartment. Even though we moved out on the 3rd, we are going to pay her a week's rent because the new tenant is only going to pay for three weeks (the new tenant is moving in on the 9th). Yet when we asked her to take the week's rent out of the security deposit (half a month's rent) she says that we might owe her more than that.

Well, let's see. Classifieds....that were unnecessarily prolonged because she wasn't quick enough on the buzzer, blinds that my cat scratched up (can't be more than $50) and a week's rent. I think half a month's rent (+ a year's worth of interest) would cover that. Everytime we want to sit down and talk to her about it though, she has to run. It's rather shifty if you ask me. Jim's going to try and talk to her again tonight. I told him to give her whatever she asks for up to $50 just because I still like her and I appreciate that she is going through some rather difficult times right now because her son isn't being all that amazing. She keeps talking about how money is tight for her though and I'm getting rather disgusted. Poor cash planning on her part should not mean that we have to be tight for money either. I'm just wondering why she thinks it's worth making enemies out of us for a bit more moolah. Especially because she is currently studying to become an accountant and I have expressed that I would like her to bookeep for my home business. (I'm a Mary Kay consultant in case anyone was wondering). It's very short term thinking on her part to be hostile at this point in time.

Money aside, I think she knows that Jim is the type of guy that you can easily take advantage of. We spent Sunday cleaning up the unit and to be fair, we have left it cleaner than when it was given to us. It was rather dingy when we moved in (complete with dusty cobwebs) and we removed many stains that were there as a result of faulty plumbing. (i.e. if my landlady had moved faster to repair the faulty plumbing, there wouldn't be those stains, which means those stains are not technically our fault) Also, when we first moved in, the stove was so dirty that when we turned the elements on there would be a musty burning dust smell and the oven was crusted with burnt residue. I've removed all the burnt residue from the oven (a 3 hour proccess mind!) but left the elements with bits of burnt stuff on it. (the burnt stuff doesn't smell, it just requires a soak and a scrub to get rid off).

So, she tells Jim last night (I was at work) to clean the stove. THE NERVE! (Jim obliges and scrubs the burnt stuff off the element wells too!!) She also proceeds to tell him that the unit is still filthy. Honestly, it's much cleaner than when we moved in...I can't believe that she would like us to do more cleaning considering that we spent an entire Sunday making the place look better than when we got it. (when we moved in she was sick and apologised for not having the place cleaner...I wonder if she was this nasty to the last tenant when he/she was moving out and that's why the unit was in such a right state!) Jim's a good guy and point-blank refused to leave the place as we had found it, but he's not a pushover either and is also refusing point-blank to clean anymore. We have better things to do with our weekends thanks.

I'm just feeling rather confused at the moment because my landlady and I have had an awesome relationship. I don't know why she's being like this all of a sudden. Also, if you think about it, discovering her son's theft of our credit card (see the fish blog) is grounds for immediate vacation without any of the nice compensatory things that we have done. *shrug* karmakarma.

posted by Joie! at 10:56 a.m.


Monday, April 05, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________

Change of Scenery 

Hey guess what everyone! I've moved!

It was surprisingly painless. I moved in 2 hours, and for only $60. The mover was so efficient that I gave him a $10 tip. (which is unusual....really, I don't believe in tipping....anyone out there watched the third rock from the sun episode about tipping? I feel the same way Dick does.)

MY NEW PLACE IS AWESOME! It's twice as big as my other place. My spatial perception is so bad that I thought this new place is as big as my old one. No. It's a hell of a lot bigger and now all my furniture looks really small. What's great is that now that I actually have a bedroom, my antique dressers are all in one room (not mingling with IKEA crap) and my bedroom looks all coordinated and classy. My living room looks really really weird though. It's so big that all the furniture I have takes up about a third of the whole room. (IKEA here I come!) Oh well, I'll have to unpack first and wait for my paycheques to start making an impression on my bank account before I do anything major, but the sheer potential excites me to no end. My bathroom really looks good too. I splurged on a fancy shower curtain from IKEA (I like IKEA...can you tell? :p) and my new place looks great. I can't wait to replace the toilet seat (yes. I like knowing who's been using my toilet seat thanks) my shower and my current curtains. Not to mention that I have a rather ambitious art project planned that will decorate my living room. *grin**grin**grin* I'm just too psyched! Don't -even- get me started on my patio! (which now houses Jim's clothes which are doused in gasoline....don't ask)

Just so everyone knows, I can't update this blog unless I'm at work, because right now I don't have a working computer and/or an internet connection. I'm not fazed because the nature of my job gives me unlimited, unrestricted internet access. Ain't life great? :p

Postscript: Not everything is peachy though. Look at my fish blog for more details.

posted by Joie! at 3:43 p.m.


Friday, April 02, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________


So I guess now I have a blog. Urm yeah.

I've always been of the notion that blogs are really self indulgent...but I guess they don't have to be. :)

So I moved to Canada. I didn't mean to leave Singapore so suddenly and indeed my dad told me that it was just going to be for a holiday. But when I landed on Dec 1st 2000 I was there to stay. In case anyone was wondering why I didn't say goodbye, well, I didn't know that I had to.

I'm moving this weekend and everything is in disarray. It's pretty bad. The mover is coming at 11am tomorrow morning. I get home from work today at about 4:30pm. I don't know how I'm going to get everything packed, but worst case scenario, I just don't sleep tonight. :P Where I'm moving to is awesome. There's a patio...huge patio. There's also a bedroom. For everyone wondering what the hell the big deal is, I've been living in a bachelor's suite for the last year. It bears quite a resemblance to a hole and the mess spreads. (i.e. if your bedroom is messy then your living room is messy....because there aren't really rooms at all) Although I like Martha Stewart I have no where near her housekeeping capabilities so anything that will curb the spread of mess is very valuable.

posted by Joie! at 11:41 a.m.


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