Fake Safety

26 Mar

I feel I should warn you, this maaaaay turn into a rant…

I like to hike; I tend to flip between what I think of as “real” hiking and “fake” hiking.

Real hiking is a trail you can’t just stumble on, you need to take gear because you could encounter all manner of random wilderness situations (and by gear I mean like, water, a phone, spare socks, rain shells, stuff like that, not ya know, ropes and carabiners so I can scale the side of a mountain, what am I, a mountain goat? πŸ˜‰ )

Fake hiking is more trail walking, trails you can get to more easily (I have one accessible from my neighbourhood), you just take music, maybe a water bottle, you don’t need to worry about being out too long in the elements or being stranded in the forest.

The majority of the time I do both of those types of hikes alone.

Of these two I think most people think “real” hiking is the more dangerous. I might come across wildlife, you can die in the wilderness, what if a sudden storm hits, or I fall and break a leg and nobody finds me. I tend to be the idiot who doesn’t always tell someone where and when I am going, and I pack light because I’m going for speed and distance, not a leisurely stroll. And again, I tend to be doing this on my own. What can I say, my days off aren’t most people’s days off and I like doing stuff like this on my own, I can go my own pace, enjoy being alone in nature, but ya know, not touching it cause ew. It’s just a thing I do that I don’t think too much about.

However, I think the argument can be made that my “fake” hiking is way more dangerous, and you wanna know why? Because of humans!

There was a story on the news lately about a woman downtown, in her own neighbourhood, out running errands in broad daylight, who got followed by a guy for 40 minutes. She eventually found a group of strangers at a park and asked if she could stay with them, telling them this guy had been following her. She had been recording him while he followed her, he could tell he was being recorded, but that didn’t scare him off.

It was crazy. It was scary. It was unfortunately, not a new or isolated incident.

I first heard about this when reading an article online, the woman who got followed had a message for women out there that basically boiled down to the things we hear all the time, be careful, don’t go out alone, blah blah blah. Not that I’m trying to be rude to her, just that isn’t a new message, I’ve been hearing it since what, before puberty?

That message pisses me off.

Why, whyyyyy should I modify my day, my errands, my life, my leisure activities, to avoid being stalked like prey? Why, do we as a society, tell women to hold their keys between their knuckles, take self defence classes, don’t walk anywhere alone, completely modify your life, if you want to be safe. But ya know, not actually safe, just a pretend safe that can be taken away from you in a moment when some ass decides to stalk you during the day, in a populated area, just because he can.

So this was bad enough. I was more mad at the message being thrown out there, the message that to stay safe women have to change a bunch of stuff instead of men keeping their jerk friends from doing stupid things, men policing other men when they notice they may be a threat to women, policing systems cracking down on predatory behaviour more swiftly, the judicial system keeping predators like this in jail once they are caught and awaiting trial and then the penal system keeping them behind bars where maybe they can experience what it is like to be hunted.

But then, oh it got worse. A friend who knows I like to hike alone sent me a link to a video where a woman, on a trail I go to often (I mean, not yet this year, but often in other years) got followed by a creeper of a guy. So she did one of the other “tricks” we are taught, where you stop and pretend to retie a shoelace so the creeper passes you by. A bit farther down the trail he was behind her again, there are no trails branching off from that main trail so he had to have gone in to the bush, hidden, waited until she passed, then started following her again. Super awesome and totally normal behaviour right? So she keeps going, getting more scared, understandably. She tries losing him, it doesn’t work. She calls the cops and is telling them what is going on, where, if I remember correctly, she was told don’t take video or pictures of him as it might set him off. She then saw a woman coming the opposite direction from her so she told her what was happening and asked if she could walk with her. The woman said of course, turned around and they went together. They also came across a lone woman starting off her hike that they warned so she joined them. The three of them got back to the parking lot together, waited, and yup you guessed it, creeper came out, went to his vehicle, pretended to drive away, then eventually did drive away.

We don’t know what would have happened if that woman hadn’t found another person on the trail to pair up with. We also don’t know what would have happened if they didn’t warn the third woman they saw who was headed directly towards the creeper. I mean, we can hazard a good guess, but since none of us can see the future (if you can see the future hit me up, I have lotto questions!) we have to what, breathe a sigh of relief nothing bad happened and move on?

How is this ok?

I had actually planned to use that trail tomorrow. I hurt my knee this past week and wanted something without a high elevation and that trail is perfect for it. But now I’m all, huh, maybe I shouldn’t…which is so wrong! I shouldn’t be stopped from having a nice long “fake” hike, on a trail that is thought of as safer because I won’t run into a bear or cougar, because it is now the hunting ground of some guy.

Oh, and again, with this article, the focus was on women changing their behaviour to stay safe, not on society changing it’s behaviour to keep all citizens safe.

I know not all guys are predators. I am not saying all men are evil. I am saying that something has gone very very wrong that the victim in these situations is being judged for doing something we should all be able to do (go out alone), and we are propagating the myth that the only way for women to be safe is for them to modify their behaviour. Do we, as a society, really not know of any other way to keep women safe, so they can hike, grocery shop, walk to meet friends, etc. alone?

I shouldn’t have to be debating with myself on whether I think it is safe to go on my hike tomorrow or not because of this. I shouldn’t be wishing I had a big mean looking dog I could take with me. I shouldn’t be cursing because my knee is not great right now, which means I can’t run, which means I now think of myself as easier prey. I shouldn’t be thinking that a run in with a bear or cougar is a less dangerous situation for me.

I have no answer for this rant of mine, I mean I do, it involves castration and a lot of time behind bars for crimes that have been shown to be precursors to more violent crimes against others…but that isn’t a popular opinion. So instead I guess I will walk with keys in my hand, and change my route to be harder to follow, and be suspicious of every man out there I pass, because that is what I can do to stay safe…but not “real” safe, just “fake” safe, which is apparently the best I can hope for.

It Has Been A Year

19 Mar

A year ago today I was in a two week isolation period because I was exposed to someone who had come back from the states and didn’t quarantine and my full-time job said “nope, you can’t come here for two weeks”. There was a lot we didn’t know about Covid back then, and while we know quite a bit more now there is still a lot we don’t know. Testing for the general public wasn’t a thing then so the only course of action was to act like everything was normal and potentially spread Covid to others or be extra cautious (some back then called it paranoid) and isolate yourself.

I don’t have horrible memories of those two weeks. I repotted plants, I organized my pantry, I worked on random projects in my place. I couldn’t work on larger ones because I couldn’t go to the stores to buy supplies and there were not as many delivery options back then as there are now.

I remember my InstaCart person couldn’t find eggs or flour, remember all the panic buying? A friend of mine found both those items at her local store and brought them over. That was my first sample of social distancing when with a friend, she handed the items over then we both stepped back and talked from what felt like an unnatural distance. It was a fun convo but I felt like a jerk for not being able to invite her in. Now, if I stand closer than 6 feet with someone I feel uncomfortable and want more space, and I’m perfectly fine not inviting people in to my place.

I also remember back at the beginning of all this being a bit pouty on a Friday night because nothing was open, you couldn’t go anywhere, there was no real fun to be had. Not like I was in a partying phase when this all started, but I did hang out with friends and go do things. This past Friday evening as I was finishing my last load of laundry, while wearing sweats, and wondering what movie to put on Netflix I realized that I don’t even notice that I can’t go out anymore, because it is normal now to be inside on my own when not at work. Going out and doing something, on those rare occasions that happens, always has me feeling a bit uncomfortable, like I shouldn’t be doing whatever it is I am doing. Just to be clear, I am not doing anything that breaks the Health Authority’s rules, it just feels wrong to me, it isn’t actually legally wrong.

I can’t say that I’ve accomplished anything impressive over this past year. I watched on social media as people went through bread making phases, and plant phases, and knitting phases, and realizing how important teachers are phases, oh so many phases. I saw them, dipped a toe in here and there, but didn’t really participate because after that two weeks of isolation in March 2020 I was working full-time, I was classified as an essential worker (I work with seniors) and I was working my regular shifts. I also, for a chunk of last year, worked my part-time job, it transitioned so I could work from home and I liked the change. I was dressed for work from the waist up and in pajamas from the waist down, I could sleep in a bit, I sat wrapped in a blanket with a hot water bottle on my lap (my apartment is a basement suite and always cold), and basically I wished I had a full-time job that could transition to working from home because it was great. Eventually the company I worked for part-time started struggling and I got laid off, so now I am down to one job and oh boy does that hurt the budget, sigh.

I got my vaccine two Tuesday ago and immediately started having side effects. I wasn’t surprised, I react badly to vaccines and a lot of medicines, and my body very much believes in an all or none attitude. Either I seem to get all (or almost all) the side effects from something, or I get none. Wednesday I was sick, I mean not actually sick, just side effects sick, so I stayed home. I went to work Thursday and got sent home because what if my side effects weren’t actual side effects and I had Covid? Friday and Saturday were my normal days off and I still wasn’t feeling great so I rested. Sunday morning I got a text from my manager saying don’t come in, get tested and wait until you have a negative result to come to work. Sigh. So off I went for my sixth Covid test, my poor nose!

I appreciate that now, if I am exposed, or have symptoms, I can go get tested and know within 24 hours if I have Covid or not. It takes away the need for 14 days of isolation, which is good. It does mean having that swab up my nose each time, which isn’t awesome, but it could be worse…least it isn’t a needle!

So many things have changed in one year. Every time new rules are issued I get used to the new normal and go about my daily life and then randomly it hits me how much has changed. Some days I am mad at the changes, or one new change pushes me past my tolerance level for that day (or week) and I get angry and exhausted and even more stressed. I don’t stop following the Health Authority’s rules because I’m not that big of a jerk, but I am angered by them. Then I adapt to the new change, remember that it is not there to restrict my life but to keep as many of us safe as possible, and I once again go about my daily life. I think it’s better to adapt to the changes than be mad at them, isn’t there enough going on right now without holding onto anger? I don’t know about you but I just don’t have time for that.

Cougar Bait?

4 Mar

I was on a trail today that had a bunch of warning signs about cougars. Normally this trail has bears, sometimes deer, not big cats. Me being me, the signs didn’t deter me and I kept going, but the signs did get me wondering…

When on trails that are prone to bears it is recommended to wear a bear bell, or make some sort of noise, because bears will hear the sound and be all “nah, don’t wanna deal with that nonsense today” and avoid us interloping humans.

What about cougars though?

If you have ever been in the house of someone who lives with a cat you’ll know a lot of cat toys have bells, or some sort of mechanism to create noise, so the cat gets interested and plays.

If I were to wear a bear bell and a cougar was nearby would that bell be making me bait? Can’t you just imagine a cougar minding it’s own business then all of a sudden hearing a bell and getting curious? They follow the sound of the bell only to find a human on a trail, a moving human, making sound, like oh say, a cat toy?

By wearing bear bells are we making ourselves in to cat toys for cougars?

Just a thought I am pondering this evening as I am held hostage by the small sleeping floof I live with; I want a drink but he’s sleeping on my foot, guess which one of us is getting what they want? Hint: not me.

I’m not saying mountain lions and cougars are the same, but cats are gonna cat, no?

Baby Plant 2.0

11 Jan

Remember that itty bitty baby plant I sort of killed…well, being that he was destined for a life with a friend of mine I felt duty bound to replace him.

Which is why Baby Plant 2.0, or BP 2.0 as I’ve taken to calling him, has come in to my life.

He is just as tiny, just as fragile, and unfortunately has to deal with me as a caretaker until Tuesday. He’s been with me since Thursday night and I can’t say the time has been stress free.

I paid a death tax of a quarter to the person who I picked up BP and BP 2.0 from, it seemed only fitting, then tucked BP 2.0 in to a Tupperware container for the ride home. I was so proud of myself for figuring out a way to keep him safe, however, I failed to realize that within the container he could tip a bit, which he did, and while he didn’t come out of his little pot he did get jostled.

What is it with me and these teeny tiny plants?!

I got him out of the Tupperware, gave him a small amount of water, and put him somewhere I figured the cat wouldn’t notice him. Last thing I needed was for Striker to eat him!

Today BP 2.0 came with me to work, where he is being guarded by two Groots, and I just hope he makes it till Tuesday, when his actual human comes to get him, and his care is no longer in my hands. I think we’ll all be grateful when his life no longer relies on me!

Plant Murderer

4 Jan

I killed a plant. Not a plant that was fully grown and had enjoyed a long content life. Nope. Not me. I killed a teeny tiny, itty bitty, plant. A baby at the beginning of it’s journey. A little dot of green that I was transporting to it’s new human.

Snuffed out before it even reached the prime of it’s life!

A friend of mine wanted to purchase the above little guy from someone on FB Marketplace, the seller lives only ten minutes from where I live, so I was asked if I could pick up the baby plant for her. Easy right?

I get to the area, park what seemed like a close distance to the apartment building, ended up going through an alley, wandering a bit, let’s say taking the scenic route rather than using the word “lost” ok? Anyways! I eventually ended up at the right spot, we did a contactless purchase, and I walked away with the smallest plant ever.

Took a picture for my friend to provide proof of life, drove home, got out of my vehicle, jostled the little plant pot the smallest amount, had a little ball of dirt fly out of the pot, and uh, killed the baby plant. Seems that when that little ball of dirt flew out it took the plant with it. Oops?

I searched for the little plant but it was dark, and rainy, and it landed on the street, and even with my flashlight I couldn’t spot it. I did however find the little ball of dirt so I picked that up and put it back in the pot. So ya know, I saved the dirt but lost the baby plant.

I’ve decided that the plant chose to jump. It wanted to have adventure, to explore the great outdoors, to live feral rather than the pampered life of an indoor plant! Such a brave little guy!

Now all I have to give my friend tomorrow is a little pot of dirt. sigh. I messaged the seller and told her what happened and on Thursday evening after work I will be going back, to pick up baby plant 2.0, and I will immediately be putting the entire pot in to a tupperware container to keep it safe during transport. No more suicidal / adventurous baby plants on my watch!

Licence Renewal During Plague Times

13 Dec

Once again it is time to renew my driver’s licence, fun times right? πŸ˜‰

The only reason I don’t care for renewing it is because I tend to like my driver’s licence picture and I worry the new one won’t look as good. I know it seems a silly thing to think about but you’re stuck with it for five years, and depending on the person working you may get a chance to retake it or may not. Five years is a long time to be stuck with a bad picture that a lot of people get to see.

This year, thanks to the pandemic, the process has changed a bit. Normally you just show up and expect to lose a large part of your day to waiting in line but now you have to book an appointment in advance, show up no more than ten minutes prior to your appointment, and then be prepared to lose who knows how much of your day to the process.

I got there ten minutes prior to my appointment and was not impressed with the long line of people waiting outside. Normally I don’t care about lines but it was pouring rain and I didn’t want my hair to frizz before getting that all important picture taken. In that moment I very much missed getting to wait inside.

As I stood in line, huddled under my umbrella, thinking there is no way I’ll be inside by my appointment time one of the people mid line got out of line and went with a person who had walked out of the building to a car, her two friends calling words of encouragement to her as she left. Turns out they weren’t in line, they were huddled under the over hang of the building waiting because one of them was going for her road test. Which was great for me because I skipped ahead of where they were standing and got a bit closer to the door.

Then a gentleman came over and said he thought a lot of the people standing under the over hang were not in line and I should check, that most were waiting to take road tests. So I start walking past people and heading to the door and yeah, turns out all the people outside were waiting for road tests, or for the person they came with to finish their road test. They were standing where the arrows indicated to stand for the line to go inside but that is because it was the only area protected from the rain. Sigh. So I stood in a line, that wasn’t a line, when I didn’t need to. Thank goodness for that guy letting me know!

I get inside, tell the guy working at the information desk, which is of course surrounded by plexiglass, making him look like he is in a hamster ball, why I am there, he gives me a ticket with a number on it and directs me to the left. Inside the building, not including staff, there were four customers, myself included, in this big space. Chairs were blocked off so you could only sit in every third chair, hand sanitizing stations were placed in multiple locations, and of course, plexiglass everywhere. Oh, and masks, masks on everyone. I think of all the errands I have run during the pandemic this was the safest building I’ve been in.

This was the first time renewing my licence since my eye surgery so I got an eye test done, I was handed the disinfecting wipe so I could clean it myself, and was also the one to get the machine into position. Which I was fine with, I trust me more than a stranger, even if she was perfectly nice and would probably have sanitized everything just fine. I answered questions, signed stuff, paid $75 (ouch!), and was done in I dunno, ten minutes maybe?

A lot of jokes are made about long lines and waiting times for places like this but for right now, those lines and wait times seem to be a thing of the past. I gotta say, I think making an appointment is a way better system than just showing up and hoping it isn’t busy.

I remember the last time I renewed my licence, I forgot I didn’t have photo ID when I went to fly a week later, my new licence hadn’t shown up in the mail yet so all I had was that temporary paper they give you. So there I was, with the cat, at the airport, and the only card I had on me with a photo was my Costco card. That was an interesting checking in experience…

December Has Arrived!

1 Dec

Finally! December is here! It feels like it has been the longest and the shortest year all at once. Part of me is all “How in the world is it already December 1st?” while the other part is screaming “How the hell is this year not over yet? Who is responsible for this?”

So ya know, a tad conflicted about how time is passing, but otherwise totally normal over here. Yup, super normal. πŸ˜‰

We did some Christmas stuff at work today, can’t tell what, it’s a secret! What I can share is the adorably dorky head piece I got to wear, and continued wearing long after all others had taken off their Christmas accessories.

Not the best lighting but whatcha gonna do? Well, I suppose use a filter but meh, can’t be bothered. I know, I know, such a lazy blogger am I!

I am that person who loves wearing silly things on their head for holidays. Canada Day? You can bet I have the Canadian flag on a headband. St. Patrick’s Day? Four leaf clovers of course! Easter? I make the cutest bunny. I could keep going but I’m sure you get the picture. So when I was offered the Christmas bow for the rest of the month I definitely said yes! I wore it for a chunk of the day, but did eventually have to take it off because weirdly enough these things tend to be sized for a child’s head and my head is not the size of a child’s head. sigh. The hardships we must endure to wear silly things on our head.

My Christmas activity for today was watching The Christmas Chronicles Part 2 when I got home. Have you seen it yet? Part 1 came out in 2018 and it only took them 2 years to bring out a sequel, which meant they could use the same actors and not have it look strange.

It was a classic Christmas story of a villain who isn’t really all that bad trying to ruin Christmas because their feelings are hurt and Santa, with the help of some kids, beating the villain while teaching a life lesson to the children, and the villain. We did almost lose Dasher to a fight with a Yule cat, but I refuse to discuss that, too traumatic. πŸ˜‰

We did get this fun little musical number randomly in the middle…

I thought to start my month with a new Christmas movie, of course I’ll watch a bunch of the classics, but it’s good to bring some change in to the season, right? Sure, change by way of a new Christmas movie, that has some of the same characters as the first part from two years ago, isn’t exactly creating waves of shock in my world, but there are a lot of big changes happening around me, so I decided to make a little change. One guaranteed to work out…or as close to a guarantee as you can get with a sequel! And hey, whatta know, it worked out!

The Beginning of Christmas

30 Nov

When does your holiday season start? For me it starts right after boxing day sales end, not kidding, I start my countdown then! However, I do wait to express my crazy to the world until closer to the actual time of year Christmas happens.

Doesn’t stop me from casually telling people how many days until Christmas at random times during the year, especially on hot summer days, but that is neither here nor there.

Normally I don’t decorate for Christmas, I go home to my family for Christmas and enjoy the decorations there. This year, as we all know, is a weird one, and I am not travelling home for Christmas, so it will be the cat and I making our own little traditions.

Step one was decorating!

My bestie Nicole years and years ago, when I moved away, mailed me a present in November. When I opened it I found a table top Christmas tree and all the lights and decorations for it. She knew I hadn’t brought any decorations with me when I moved and being a poor student couldn’t afford to go buy any, so she surprised me with them. Talk about thoughtful!

This year I pulled the tree out of the box, tried not to jump when a dead spider fell out of the tree when I was fluffing it out, and decorated it, all under the supervision of Striker, The Cat Overlord. That is his new title by the way, he gave it to himself earlier this year.

It’s beautiful and I love it!

Lucky for me Striker (the Cat Overlord) does not care even one little bit about the tree, even though he jumps up beside it to get to the windowsill. Apparently the tree is beneath his dignity to bother with.

Sometimes I think I have the least cat-like cat out there…

I also took a mini tree to work for my office, because why not?

I have a set of 3 baby Groots and thought I’d use the mini tree to make hair for one of them. Random? Sure. But it makes me smile so who cares?

Continuing with my enjoying the beginning of the season I watched my first holiday themed thing today, actually no, that is a lie, my bad. I watched Rise of the Guardians the other day and while it isn’t technically a “Christmas” movie, I think of it as one so I guess that was my first seasonal type thing to watch.

This evening after work I channeled the inner child in me and watched the Disney Holiday Sing Along. It is basically a bunch of celebrities singing various Christmas songs, but never the entire song, just a snippet, accompanied by Disney clips interspersed with their performance. I’ve never watched it before so don’t know if it is normally this format. It wasn’t amazing, and this is coming from a person who loves (1) Disney, (2) Christmas, and (3) singing when alone and no one can hear me.

I mean c’mon, if anyone was poised to enjoy this it was me, but alas, ’twas not meant to be.

The lovely sushi dinner I ordered in for myself, to get this season off to a yummy start was great though! I suppose if one of the things had to be not up to expectations better it was the show and not my dinner!

What do you start your holiday off with? Decorating? Shows? Food? We all do the holidays different, and this year we will all be doing them different than our usual traditions, but I hope yours gets off to a happy start, and continues to be happy all the way through! πŸ™‚

Staycation 2020

29 Nov

Oddly enough I had a bunch of unused vacation days and with the year quickly coming to an end my work wanted me to use them. I wasn’t so psyched on the idea, I mean, I can’t go anywhere, so what is the point? Turns out there didn’t have to be a point, just a strong nudge towards picking some days to take off.

I picked a random week in November and tried to get excited for it. I decided I’d do at least one all day hike, and hopefully more smaller ones, I’d paint the apartment, hang with friends (in a socially distant way), maybe do a day trip somewhere, and just use the time to live a relaxed life.

In keeping with the theme of 2020 the week I chose ended up being one of a two week time period where we went in to tighter restrictions in an effort to stop our Covid numbers from rising. This meant I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere unless it was an essential trip, so no hikes, no hanging with friends, no day trips out of town, no random fun shopping errands or days out doing whatever I wanted (within reason of course!).

Want to know what I was left with? Painting. The one thing on my list the tighter rules couldn’t take away, in fact, Dr. Bonnie Henry probably would have loved it. A human, alone in their apartment, for 9 days, with a project to keep them busy, she probably wishes all of us in BC would do that.

I will admit I didn’t start vacation with a great mindset, I was feeling like I was being grounded, even though I have been following all of the rules, and I was a bit cranky about it.

Vacation, to me anyways, means travel of some sort, at least one activity that gets my adrenaline going and has the potential for death, and I dunno, excitement. These 9 days weren’t looking to have any of that. In fact, they were going to be…productive. Who has a productive vacation?!

In true me fashion I did manage some entertaining moments, entertaining in a face palm kind of way that is. See, I was painting part of my bedroom, living room, and kitchen, and I was working on all the walls at the same time, none of this work in the bedroom, get it finished, then move on to the next room. Why be organized like that? So every room in my apartment was in chaos. Furniture moved to the middle of rooms, things draped with tarps, my dry food packed up so I could move the pantry, you know the drill.

One of the days, fairly early on, I stopped for lunch and realized that I couldn’t access my food. The dry stuff I packed away was completely inaccessible, somewhere in the middle of the living room hidden by furniture. My fridge, well, I could get to it, but was only able to open it a little wider than a jar of mayo. So not super wide. I thought about ordering take-out but had also blocked my door, and wasn’t sure if I asked the delivery driver to hand the food to me through the window if they’d go for it. This meant I had to find something in the apartment I could reach, and eat without cooking. I had buns on the counter already and with a lot of stretching was able to reach the shredded cheese and the mayo, so my meal that day was mayo and cheese on a bun, with a mini can of Fanta and also a cup of tea.

On the plus side, I’d forgotten how much I like mayo and cheese on a bun, it is super simple but enjoyable. On the not quite a plus side, it was the only meal I was able to put together for days because it took that long to be able to move things so I could open the fridge door wider. Oh, another plus would be I lost weight during the 9 days, thanks to manual labour and limited access to food lol.

In the end, I’m not upset the walls got painted, or my furniture rearranged, or that I worked on the apartment. And because I wasn’t doing anything but working in the apartment on my vacation I extended the areas I was painting and did more than intended, making it look even better.

Am I still a little salty I didn’t get to do one hike or day trip? Well sure, I’m human after all. But I console myself with the reminder it rained all that week so I wouldn’t have wanted to hike in that weather anyways, and not doing a day trip out of town saved me money, and the place does look a lot nicer now.

I guess my lesson learned is that a productive vacation isn’t all bad, it is just different than what I am used to, and adjusting to something different than what I am used to is basically the theme of 2020. I got used to masks, and social distancing, and virtual concerts, so I guess it isn’t much of a stretch to get used to a different kind of vacation…right?

I thought I’d share some pictures to show the changes in paint colour. The first slide show is from my bedroom, the wall in there is a weird wood paneling that is a super smooth texture. Originally I was just doing the wood panel wall but extended it out to both sides of the little hall that leads in to my room and the closet area. The colour I chose was a grey-blue but it turned out more blue than I anticipated. I don’t hate it, and if you think I’m going through all the work to paint over it just to get a slightly different colour than you need to find a therapist to bring you back to reality my friend.

The next slideshow is the living room and kitchen. The wood paneling there was more textured, grainy, like actual wood and not a shiny panel. I only took a before picture of the living room but that wood wall went all along the living room wall, over the door frame, and extended down the kitchen wall. I picked a white with tinge of grey because no way would I be able to match perfectly the white in the rest of the space and I was well aware of my limits and that I wouldn’t be able to paint the entire living room and kitchen. So I wanted a neutral that was obviously intentionally a different white than the rest of the walls but not shockingly different. The darkness of the walls underneath the paint, plus the texture of them, gives the area a different look than I anticipated, but I’m liking it. I haven’t put any art up on the walls yet, I’m still sorting out what I want to put up, but I’ll get there eventually. In the kitchen I was originally stopping where that wall juts out but I ended up moving the shelf unit and painting all the way to the door.

I removed the bedroom door, I never closed it anyways, and that really opened up the space, now that I don’t have it blocking a chunk of the living room wall. I still have to pick covers for the light switches and plugs, the ones I took off were dark brown, so they matched to the wood, but I don’t want them against the paler colours, so I’m taking a look for which ones I want. Oh, and I need knobs for the closet doors, which fyi, I accidentally painted shut and had to fight to get them to open again…but that’s a story for another day lol.

Voting During Plague Times

17 Oct

I live in BC and a snap election was called, that is an election that was called earlier than the normally scheduled one. Basically, it is when someone gets all “hmm, if I call for an election right now I have better odds of winning than if I waited for the normal election date, so let’s giver a go!”. Or in other words, it is someone calling an election not because it is for the good of the people they are supposed to be representing but because it is beneficial to them.

Can you tell I am not impressed with snap elections? πŸ˜‰

It isn’t voting day yet, but we can vote early at a variety of locations and I figured better to go early than wait for the day. I keep hearing stories of long lines, it taking ages, stuff like that, and I thought better to go to an early voting site and risk losing a bunch of time on my day off than trying to squeeze it in on a day I work and not being able to make it.

Voting was the top of my list of errands to do today, assuming it would take a long time I had my ear buds so I could listen to music in line, a protein bar if I got hungry, and a diet coke to quench potential thirst. I was ready! And it was all unnecessary.

The only people at the site when I got there were the people working. The whole thing took maybe 4 minutes and 2 of those minutes were walking to the correct door since they had made the doors one direction and I parked nearer the exit than the entrance.

The guy who greeted me at the door had gloves, mask, and face shield on, he let me know which table to go to. The person at the table (at all the tables) was wearing a mask and gloves, and was sitting behind plexiglass.

The barcode on my voting card was scanned through the plexiglass and I had to hold my license up to the plexiglass so he could get a good look at it. Then he handed my ballot to me by sticking one hand around the edge of the plexiglass and directed me to the little cardboard wall deal that you stand behind to vote. So I voted, went back to the guy, and he had me tear the top off my ballot. The top went in to an envelope that was attached to the front of the plexiglass, it was quite full which makes me believe others are early voting also and I just happened to arrive in a quiet moment. Then I put my ballot in the box, was shown where to put my voting card for recycling and that was it. I had voted.

On the way out a person opened the door for me so I didn’t have to touch it and there was hand sanitizer by the door, which I appreciated since I had touched a pen who knows how many other people had touched.

Also, turns out the one way door system worked out to be a good thing cause the exit led directly to the parking lot and if there had been a long line and I was tired after finishing a grueling experience to vote I would have been glad to exit right where my car was.

The whole thing made barely a dent in my day, which was an unexpected perk as I was planning to stay there as long as was needed. Makes me feel bad for people going to vote in unsafe conditions though, long lines that aren’t socially distanced, high levels of sick or potentially sick people, no masks…having to be in line under those conditions would be scary, and unsafe.

I know my voting experience won’t be what everyone has, you may go on a day that is busier than today, or you may go to a smaller location so people can be less spaced out, or maybe other voters who are there at the same time as you don’t wear masks or use sanitizer, it is all up to chance what the voting location you go to will be like, I hope it is like how mine was, clean, quiet, and fast, but even if it isn’t, even if you have to stand in a long line, or be the person taking a step back because someone else isn’t distancing properly, I hope you still vote.

Your voice is important and deserves a chance to be heard.

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