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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.


My Coach Experience

24 May

Oh boy, talk about an online shopping experience taking up way too much of my time and energy *rolls eyes*

Let’s start at the beginning shall we?…you might want to get a fresh cup of tea for this…

I saw an item that I wanted to get for my friend for her birthday, it is from Coach and was only available on the website so I decided screw the horrible exchange rate, I’m buying it. Now, I am weak and saw a bracelet I loved and on a whim decided to tack that on to the order also. The website wouldn’t accept my delivery address postal code for some reason so I called in, explained I was having issues with the website, and asked if I could place the order over the phone. The lady said yup.

That has got to be one of the worst customer service phone calls I have ever had…

She kept yawning while talking, and muttering about her computer not working so she’ll just leave a note for someone about that, she took forever, at one point she did something that wiped all the information she’d already put in so we had to start over. I don’t know if she is new or Coach just has horrible training for their call centre employees or what but eesh! Then she tells me the bracelet I want is out of stock, but it is clearly showing on the website as being available. I asked if it was possible the one the website was showing was in my “shopping basket” was the last one and should I close the tab so it cancels the online order I had been trying to place to free it up and she said I could try, so I did, and after she did something on her end she said she had the bracelet on my order. So okay, it took forever, she was horrible at her job, but I got both items ordered, had to pay through the nose for shipping, was told I would have the items in 3-5 business days and voila, shopping done!

I was told I couldn’t get the tracking number yet because it isn’t generated by the system until the items are removed from the warehouse but if I want to call back the next day I can get the tracking number then. Seems fair.

I called the next day, explained I was just wanting the tracking number, the lady I spoke with (different lady than the original call) pulled up my order and said it was showing as “pending” and she had no idea why it wasn’t processed yet and I had to call back during regular business hours because there is nobody there in the evenings who can check on that for me.

Annoying, and concerning, why is it pending? She has noooooo idea, and didn’t really seem to care, so fine whatever, I’ll call back tomorrow.

I call back the next day and get my first nice Coach customer service person! I told her the order was showing as pending and I was wondering what was wrong with it blah blah blah, she pulls it up, says it has processed through and there is a tracking number now. She doesn’t know why it took longer than normal to process but it is on its way. Yay!

I wait about a week and go online to check the tracking (it is with DHL) because the package hasn’t shown up yet and I’m wondering where it is.

DHL shows there is a problem with the delivery address and they have been trying to reach me and are now waiting for the customer to contact them.

What the hell? Nobody tried to reach me! And what address problem? So I call DHL to find out what is wrong and they said (1) the delivery address doesn’t exist and (2) the phone number they had for me didn’t work. So we compared information and it turns out Miss. Yawning While Working wrote down the delivery address wrong, the building number is 3633 and she wrote 3622…which is not a place. Then for the phone number, the last digit in my phone number is a 7 and she put it down as an 8. Grr. So DHL had been sitting on my package for daaaaaays because of this and were at the stage where they were about to send it back to Coach. They couldn’t ship it to the correct address without Coach filing some paperwork confirming the proper address so the DHL lady suggested I come pick it up because it would be the fastest solution. Annoying, but fine. They agreed to move the package to a DHL location near me and told me that would take 24-48 hours and I should call back to confirm it had arrived at the new location in 2 days.

As soon as I was off the phone with DHL I called Coach and complained. I actually got a second nice person, she kept putting “Miss” in front of my first name and she had a slight accent and I decided I liked her lol She took a look at the order, listened to me bitch, stayed calm and handled things well. I pointed out I had to pay $26 American for shipping, which turned in to way more in Canadian dollars and they were waaaay past the 5 business days the package was supposed to take, all because Miss Yawning While Working was incapable of inputting simple numbers accurately. She agreed it was not acceptable and refunded me my shipping charges which I thought was fair.

48 business hours later I call DHL and my package is where it should be so I go pick it up. Finally! After 2 weeks of dealing with Coach and wondering where my over priced items are I finally have them!

Well, jokes on me! I opened the shipping box and inside are two very nicely wrapped boxes, the one with the bracelet looked like this…

Cute right? I opened it and there was this little sticker on the tissue and the bracelet itself was in a dust bag…

Then…then I opened the dust bag…and that is when the pictures stopped because they sent me the wrong freakin thing!

The bracelet comes in black or brown, I ordered black, Miss. Yawing While Working sent me brown.

This woman really needs a new job…

It may not seem like a big deal but the brown one was ugly, ugh, I wouldn’t wear that in a million years.

So once again I call Coach, I get a lady not as bad as some of the others I have spoken to but someone who definitely didn’t care about customer service, or not sounding bored out of her skull, and she said best she could do was put one on hold at a location that is semi-near me and I could go exchange them. At this point I was so done with having to deal with the call centre that I said yes.

The next day I go traipsing to the store, walk in mentally preparing for battle, and meet the two nicest people ever. There were two sales people near the door when I walked in, I explained I was there to swap a bracelet and they instantly knew who I was, called me by name, offered me water, one stayed with me to chat while the other went to get the right bracelet. They both apologized for what I had to go through with the call centre, they had nothing to do with it and yet they apologized! They printed me out a receipt for the bracelet showing Canadian dollars so if I have to bring it back I have a store receipt which will make it easier. Then the lady corrected all the address and phone number mistakes in their computer system because with all the phone calls I made to Coach’s call centre, and all the times I explained to different people there the situation, and all the different call centre reps that looked at my order, not one of them bothered to correct the shipping address information or correct the last digit of my phone number. Nice huh?

The lady at the store also told me that if there is ever an item I want on the website that isn’t in the store to tell her and she can order it in to the store, saving me from (1) dealing with that horrible call centre again (2) saving me from paying duty and (3) saving me from paying shipping. Niccccce! πŸ™‚

Overall I am not impressed with Coach. Considering how much they charge for their items and the fact that they market themselves as a luxury goods provider, you’d think they’d have people working in the call centre that provided a higher level of customer service, and a consistent level of customer service! I called them 5 or 6 times and of those 5 or 6 times only 1 of those people was actually friendly and nice and pleasant to deal with, there was 1 other person who wasn’t bad but wasn’t amazing, just average, which is fine, and the rest of them were different levels of bad, all of them being topped by Miss. Yawning While Working.

Never again, never again will I order from their website or deal with their call centre, too much drama for moi!

Oh, in case you were wondering, this is what the correct bracelet looks like…

2016-05-24 01.07.022016-05-24 01.09.03

It is a surprisingly hard bracelet to get a good picture of lol but trust me, it’s pretty. πŸ™‚

National Student Loan Service Centre Rant

22 Sep

Never have I been so angered by a company as I have been over the years by the National Student Loan Service Centre, which for anyone outside of Canada or lucky enough to not have Government Student Loan debt within Canada is the evil entity that you have to deal with when paying back your student loans.

They are ridiculous.

The amount of times they have made errors when dealing with my file that have negatively impacted me and instead of correcting the error, or even just saying sorry (and meaning it) I have to redo a bunch of paperwork I already properly filled out and resubmit it even though I submitted it on time originally aaaaand then I have to hope they decide to be lenient because now I am submitting paperwork late and they could decide to penalize me for it.

Seriously, ridiculous!

The latest in the saga of my dealings with NSLSC started a couple weeks ago, well, I suppose it actually started a month or so ago but I didn’t know about the screw up until a couple of weeks ago.

See, I can’t afford to make the full monthly payments on my student loan so every six months I fill out a form for Repayment Assistance. Basically I am telling them I am still too poor to make payments, they counter with a demand for proof of income, I send them pay stubs, they grudgingly agree and lower my monthly payments, and for six months things are ok.

The last time they assessed me I unfortunately had a month where I racked up a lot of overtime at work so the pay stubs I sent them showed my monthly earnings as far greater than they normally are. When they sent me my letter saying what my monthly payments would be they were waaaay higher than anything I could hope to afford so I called them and tried to explain that the pay stubs they had showed overtime that I don’t normally get. I told them my hourly wage and how many hours of work I get a week and requested they please base my monthly payment on that information, I even wrote them a letter explaining this in detail. They were less than helpful…which is my nice of way of saying the lady on the phone was a bitch who wouldn’t let me finish a sentence, constantly talked down to me and basically said I was on my own.

Where they find these people I don’t want to know!…Actually, yes I do, so I can cut off their source of staffing!

So I tried making the stupid high payments and couldn’t. I called in again, got a different person who said I could request to be re-assessed and that might mean I get a lower monthly payment so of course I said I wanted to do that. I had ten days to fill out the appropriate form, fax it in with supporting documentation, and hope they decided to be nice. I faxed the paperwork the next day but didn’t hear anything from them so on the tenth day I called to confirm they had it and the guy I spoke with said it wasn’t in my file but if I faxed it in that day it would still be there on time and I would be ok. So I faxed it immediately and made sure I got a copy of the fax confirmation print out. I breathed a sigh of relief and then waited to see what they would do.

They are not always the fastest moving organization so it isn’t like I was expecting to hear from them right away, and while they prefer people upload things to their site or fax them they choose to send snail mail to student loan borrowers so I knew I had at least a week before I’d get a letter.

I didn’t forget about it exactly but since I knew I had to wait for a letter from them I stopped having the situation be at the top of my mind. I went on vacation, did my normal stuff, then randomly a couple weeks ago I get a letter saying I owe them over $400 dollars asap, my credit rating is being screwed up because of this and blah blah blah.

What the hell??

I called them and asked what was going on, I explained I had faxed in the paperwork and had been waiting for a letter saying what my new payments are and never received one and all of a sudden I get this letter and I didn’t understand what was happening. The lady I was speaking with said they never received the paperwork so my file reverted back to my owing the original monthly payment amount and I was actually owing them over $600 now.

Luckily I keep all my paperwork so I said I know they got the paperwork because I have the fax confirmation print out and they received it on such n such date and such n such time. I wanted to say “so there!” and stick out my tongue but I was trying to be polite lol So she then puts me on hold to check my account and when she comes back she is all “we have the paperwork you faxed in”, then she said some mumbo jumbo and asked me a couple questions and informed me I could resubmit the request to be reassessed with new proof of payment for the previous month and basically we can start the whole freakin process over again!

Sooooo, they got the paperwork, on time!, didn’t do anything with it, didn’t send me a letter saying what was going on, adversely affected my credit rating because they show I am late on over $600 worth of payments and now I am the one who has to redo everything, in the hopes they actually do their job this time??

How is this fair?

Of course I did what they wanted, not like I have a choice, sigh. This time though instead of faxing I did everything on their website, theoretically it is supposed to be faster.

So I go online, fill out the form, I have to upload the pay stubs which I can’t do for 5 days because I have to scan them at work and email them to myself first but once the form is started it will stay in the system for 30 days waiting for the additional information. It says this right at the top of the screen, 30 days! So not even a week after I fill in that form I go to upload the pay stubs and my form is gone, disappeared from the system, as if I never did it, wtf?

Filling out the form isn’t a huge deal but why did it disappear? What’s going on here?

I redo the form, upload the pay stubs and figure finally this madness will start coming to an end, well…no…because I went to check on the process today and my form is still there but somehow, magically, the pay stubs I uploaded to my file are gone…so the file is incomplete because the system is waiting for the pay stubs.

I swear I am about to rip out my hair!

I uploaded the pay stubs, again, and have absolutely NO faith it will matter or that my file will be processed or that they won’t screw something else up.

How oh how does this organization still get to operate?

student loan

Sorry for the ranting, I just really needed to vent about this!


13 Jun

Alrighty so today was THE day, the day I was stepping on…dun-dun-dunnn…the scale! (insert scream here!)

It was NOT a pleasant experience at all! 😦

Everything started off ok, I got the new battery in, chose a flat non-carpeted spot to place it (as per the sticker on the bottom), stood on it once to get it calibrated (still following what the sticker said). According to the sticker you step on, wait till it flashes a number, ignore the number, step off, wait till the screen goes blank then step back on because only after all that is the scale actually able to properly weigh you.

I gotta say, after all that, the number that showed up on that stupid silly little digital screen made me so upset I couldn’t decide if I should hit something, cry, pout, break the scale, crawl back in to bed and hide or immediately sell my car so I could find a doctor and get liposuction.

Of course I did none of those things, Β I hopped in the shower with that horrible horrible number repeating itself in my head and gazed blindly at the wall of the shower wondering what the hell happened. How had I let that happen?? Talk about epic fail.

I had thought I’d gained 10-15 pounds from the last time I weighed myself, which, in case you are wondering was hmm, two years or so ago? I stopped weighing myself when I started building more muscle and the scale number stopped giving me proper feedback on my progress. Um yeah, no, according to the scale I have gone up 30 pounds. THIRTY POUNDS!!!

fat cat 2

I just don’t get it, I mean yeah I have gone up a pant size, but usually a pant size is 10 pounds, and my top half hasn’t changed size in years, where are these thirty pounds? Where?!?!

Why didn’t any of my friends give me a heads up I was headed back in to porker land? Aren’t friends supposed to tell you things like this? 😦


I’m so mad about that number!

A friend of mine, who is also a co-worker, was at work today and I spoke to her, I was in such a funk and I needed to vent to someone. Turns out she doesn’t even own a scale so as soon as I said I stepped on one she was asking me why I would do that lol Only the supremely fit wonder why the rest of us rely so much on the scale *rolls eyes* She is a personal trainer and couldn’t believe the number the scale gave me. She also said that:

(1) the scale can’t tell the difference between fat and muscle and since we’ve known each other (about a year) I’ve put on muscle

(2) unless it is one of the scales that tells you your body fat percentage, muscle and water retention the number doesn’t mean anything

(3) if I’m wearing the same, or close to the same clothing size as before then the change in number can’t all be fat gain

(4) never pay attention to a scale

During our convo another co-worker walked in and heard what we were talking about, she said she gained 40 pounds in a year so my weight gain is a totally possible thing to which my friend asked about her clothing sizes and she admitted she went up 4 clothing sizes in that one year…so she most likely gained fat (I’m not being mean, she is the one who said that!) where as I apparently gained some combo of fat and muscle…I just don’t get it, sigh. I mean, I get it in theory, but that doesn’t help me with how I’m feeling right now.

It especially doesn’t help that I have an audition tomorrow and have to be in a swimsuit. 😦

So I don’t know what to do…I was freaking out when still at home and getting ready for work and decided that things need to change asap. I made my healthy breakfast (dropped an egg on the floor while doing it, ugh, messy!), made a healthy dinner to take to work (which I accidentally left on the counter when I left for work so I had to throw it out when I got home, talk about a day for wasting food, sigh), decided I am no longer eating food from work unless it is legit healthy or I stupidly leave my healthy food at home *rolls eyes* and I took workout gear with me so when I was done at 9pm I changed at work and went for a run in the area I work. I find by the time I get home at 9:30pm it is too dark to run but if I run at 9pm it is still decently light outside hence the running where I work.

I was paranoid about how I looked when I left the house but while at work I went to the washroom and thought I looked good in the mirror…am I trying to subconsciously delude myself about how bad the situation has gotten? Are my eyes tricking me? Maybe the mirror is faulty?

When I was finished at work and changed in to my workout gear I could see all my problem spots but I was still confused about the change in number, no way I would have been able to wear the t-shirt I was wearing the last time I weighed this amount, it is too slim fitting, and I only bought these work out pants when I was a lower weight then I am now (about 15 pounds lighter than I am now) but they still fit and more importantly they still look good.

So what gives?

I’ve decided to let that number spur me in to motion, be my reason for moving more, eating better, being fitter. I hate that number and even though I have no idea how much of it is fat and how much of it is muscle, I don’t care, I still hate it and I want it to get smaller. I will make it smaller!

More workouts at the gym, more evening runs after work, more proper meals, more focus, more dedication, more pushing myself.


never quit again

Thyroid Update

16 May

I had a doctor’s appointment today, to find out the results of the tests done on my blood from last Monday. It would appear that everything is working a-okay within my body.

How messed up is it that I’m a little disappointed right now? *rolls eyes* I was sorta hoping I’d have a thyroid problem and that I would get medicated (even though I hate taking medication) so that I would then have an easier time losing weight (although from what I’ve heard the meds don’t always help with that…) but instead my thyroid is apparently functioning as it should be so nooooo meds for this girl.

Which really, in the long run I am happy about because meds are so not my thing lol In the short term though, grr! and Boo! lol πŸ˜›

The doc says the reason I am having trouble losing weight is because I am subconsciously restricting my movement/activities due to the hip problem. She says it is normal for someone whose had an injury to hold back a bit and not be as active as they used to be because they have to baby the injured body part but most people don’t change their eating habits so they are eating more than they should be considering the reduced activity and bam! Weight gain! Then, as the person starts to regain their active lifestyle, they, without realizing it, hold back, or just do a bit less day-to-day which of course means the weight doesn’t come off as quickly as they would like.

Speaking as someone who was badly injured years ago and took for freakin ever to become fully mobile again and then even longer then freakin ever to lose the weight she gained while gimped I am not impressed with this analysis. I understand it. I just don’t like it.

I am back to being active. I mean yeah, I am a lazy person in general but I am back to my twice weekly dragon boat practices, and my hiking (though not as often as I would like but that is not my fault! life gets in the way *pout*) and my random other activities that are generally not planned but just happen. I mean c’mon, I just ran the BMO Run two weekends ago, isn’t that a sign of an active person??

Apparently not. sigh.

How much more do I have to do to be considered active and for my body to stop being a jerk and drop this weight? *glares at body*

I know that when it comes to weight loss it is 80% what you eat and 20% your exercise and I will admit that I am not the greatest when it comes to food. I try, sorta, in spurts lol I’m pretty sure though that I undereat, shocking I know! Except for the days I indulge in something stupid and them boom! Overeater in the house! *groan* I annoy myself. πŸ˜›

I’ve got to get my food back on track but no big gimmicks, no weird tricks, just, I dunno, normal healthy eating, in the proper portion sizes, and no more treats just because. I mean yeah ok, I’m not going to cut out every single treat but I have to be more careful with them, actually have them be treats and not daily occurrences ya know? Oh, and I think maybe I should be eating more than once or twice a day…but I always find that hard, sigh.

I’m starting with baby steps, which may seem lame, but I figure every little change will help and will eventually grow in to a big change *crosses fingers and hopes* So, in that vein, when I got home from work this evening I had a cup of tea but no snack. Not gonna lie, I miss having a snack, but my night time snack was almost always something not nutritionally beneficial to my body and not really needed for anything other than taste bud happiness and those little buggers can just suck up the loss as far as I’m concerned lol

I will have to come up with an actual eating plan of some sort otherwise nothing will actually change, but that can wait for tomorrow, when it’s not one in the morning and I’m not kinda tired. πŸ™‚



The Many Sides Of Me

1 May

Do not watch the above video if swearing offends you!

I have, hmm, 4 distinct clothing styles right now, I’d love to have more but can’t afford to, shrug. I’ve noticed that each clothing style corresponds with a noticeable change in how I act, in how my personality shines through lol πŸ˜›

Something I learned in film school is that we use our clothing choices like armour, what we wear shows the world who we are, and that in turn dictates how people treat us and to some degree how we treat others. Obviously there are many other factors at play but I’m focusing on clothing and your “look” only (by “look” I mean hairstyle, makeup, accessories etc).

Over the years your different looks will change as you figure out who you are, so you might go grunge for a while, goth, alternative, punk, bling, hipster or any of the other varied options, they are all valid choices and they will all help you to express who you feel you are inside.

But what happens when the clothing starts to define you and your actions to such a degree the “look” stops being something thatΒ you choose so you can show off a part of your personality and instead dictates to you what part of your personality you will show?

I like to wear black, a lot of black, with leather wrist bands that are studded with metal, I like thick chains for my necklaces, I like to accessorize with skulls and crossbones, I like dark eye makeup and pale skin, I like buckles on my black leather boots and if I could afford it I’d own a motorcycle. This is how I always want to look, but I can’t always look like that because I have a life that has varied interests and activities, shrug. So this version of me doesn’t get to come out nearly as often as it used to. When it did though, I was bad ass, I could handle anything, I could confront anybody about any topic, I could hold my ground, I could fight if needed, I could stare down a person so they’d not even approach me, I felt like I had power, like I was different enough from the norm I stood out and was very clearly not a sheep. Or at least all of that is how my look made me feel.

But what about when I work out? Obviously I’m not going to dress like that!

So, when I go hiking, or to dragon boat practice, or running, or to the gym, or walking with friends, or bike riding or any of the other sporty activities that I do I dress differently. I wear yoga pants, and runners, and sports bras, and a t-shirt that is meant to get sweaty, and my hair is pulled back, I have little to no make up on, maybe I’ve thrown a baseball cap on my head, I’m as far away from the girl in black as I can be. When I dress like this I act differently then the girl in black does. I’m friendly, I am competitive, I don’t care if I’m sweaty cause I’m working out, I’m all about getting out there, doing stuff, finding the next activity, enjoying the fresh air.

But what about when I am chillin at home?

At home I’m all about comfort, I’m all for the over sized sweat pants and t-shirts, usually with an over sized hoodie thrown over top for good measure. I wear thick comfy socks, my hair is pulled back in a messy ponytail and my bangs are clipped back with barrettes cause I don’t want to be annoyed by them. You can’t tell what shape I am because my clothes make me look like a lump, I may or may not have makeup on. When I’m dressed like this I am lazy, I’m tired, I want to be left alone to watch tv, or read a book, or go online, Β I’m anti-social and I like it that way. I don’t care about what I’m doing tomorrow, hell, I’m not thinking past the next half hour, I’m a hermit who doesn’t like being outside.

Hey now, you hafta pay rent somehow! What about when I’m at work?

Work is where I am farthest from myself, if anyone ever questions my acting ability they should come see me at work, acting at its finest! I wear business casual clothes, stressing the casual part of that! In summer I wear a lot of dresses, they are easy outfits and the residents like them – they are of a generation where women wore dresses and skirts more often, shrug, I’ve found my being in dresses and skirts makes them feel more comfortable…that and the guys like looking at my legs lol. I’m wearing patterns, and florals *shudder*, cute ballet style shoes with bows on them, my hair is loose and straight, my makeup is light and natural. I smile a lot, laugh a lot, am super cheerful and helpful and patient. I have time for everyone and make sure everyone I deal with feels they have my undivided attention when I am speaking with them. I fix various things, and explain and re-explain the answers to the same tech questions weekly, I am quick moving and sweet and have been emotionally adopted by every resident in there to the point that it sometimes feels like I have 79 grandparents. I am empathetic, sympathetic and if there is an emergency I run like the wind and take care of the resident in need right up to the point the paramedics get there and take over. I nurse wounds, provide a hand to hold when someone is in pain, am that familiar reassuring face, somehow I make them feel protected.

Oh I lied, I have a fifth look, my out with friends look.

It is a toned down version of the girl in black. Same black leather boots with buckles, same tendency to wear black, and skulls, and black leather wrist bands with spikes, but toned down a bit. So, if I wear the wrist band, I’ll leave the chunky chain jewellery at home. It’s a way to feel a bit like myself while not going overboard and freaking my friends out, shrug.

So, with each of these outfit styles how I feel about myself and how I interact with the world changes. Some things remain no matter the look I wear, I will always stand up for myself, get easily irritated and have a snappy sarcastic comeback (shrug, sarcasm is in my blood lol) but other reactions are different, depending on the look. For example, today I was hiking and passed a guy with two pit bulls, I made a comment about him having beautiful dogs, he thanked me, we smiled as we went our separate ways. Not a big deal. Had I crossed paths with him on a sidewalk and I was dressed in my black/skull/leather combo I might have glanced at the dogs and admired them but wouldn’t have said anything. Why? Because in that look I am more anti-social, shrug.

When do our various looks stop showing off who we are and start restricting us? Start defining us more than we define the look? There is nothing stopping me from being anti-social when I’m dressed in my athletic clothes, and yet I am friendly when dressed like that, competitive, but friendly. Just like I am not friendly when dressed in black and skulls. I’m the same person, with the same likes, dis-likes, hopes, dreams, pet peeves but I don’t act like it…or maybe it’s that the really important parts of my personality act the same no matter the outfit (like sticking up for myself) but the less cemented parts shift as the look changes? When I get dressed I feel like I am putting on a character and while in that outfit I stay that character, maybe that’s an actor thing? or a me thing?

Insomnia Much?

20 Apr

I have not been sleeping well at all, ugh. Which is ridiculous cause sleeping is one of the things I do best! Well, after 3am it is lol I have always been a night owl so going to bed prior to 2am is a chancy thing, I will most likely toss and turn wondering why I am wasting time lying in bed when I could be doing countless other things. If I go to bed around 3am odds are decent I’ll fall asleep in a more acceptable length of time. However, going to bed at 3am is not a smart thing to do when you have to be up at 5:30am for work. sigh.

It’s not just last night though, it’s the past week, I just haven’t been sleeping well. Not only do I have a ridiculous time falling asleep, once I am asleep I’m not staying there, I wake up throughout the night and my dreams are weird, and not entertaining weird but disturbing weird…normally I like dreaming, I have vivid dreams that tell a story in a chronological order, it’s like watching tv that my mind makes up, it’s awesome! But not this past week, nope, just weird annoying dreams.

When the alarm goes off and I finally get up I don’t feel rested but I don’t particularly want to go back to sleep cause sleep just ain’t doin nuthin for me lol πŸ˜›


I’m not really sure how to deal with this, so my approach to the problem has been to try to wear myself out so I will sleep better. Let me just say that so far, it isn’t working. 😦

Yesterday my dragon boat team had a fundraiser, friends and family could pay $10 and come dragon boating with members of the team, get a feel for it, have some fun on the water, see what it is all about. It went great! The team raised money, the people who came out had lots of fun, I invited a friend and her two daughters and they loved it! I am now considered even cooler than I already was in their ranking system, and hey, I didn’t even have to bribe them with chocolate! lol πŸ˜‰

I thought for sure being up early for that, then putting in a full shift at work would wear me out and I’d have a great sleep last night. Ha-bloody-ha!

That so didn’t happen! *pout*

I was super tired when I got home but could I sleep? Nope. Just lay there, couldn’t get comfy, tossed and turned much to the cats annoyance until I eventually drifted off only to be woken repeatedly through the night by absolutely nothing at all *groan* then the alarm goes off at 5:30am and I didn’t even bother with hitting snooze cause what is the point? I didn’t hit snooze! You probably don’t realize how big of a deal this is but let me explain, snooze and I, we have a complex relationship where snooze promises me ten more minutes of precious sleep so I can finish a dream but not be late for work and in exchange I don’t break the alarm. It may be a mildly threatening relationship where snooze cowers in fear of failing and then being beat, but hey, it works for us. πŸ˜‰

So now it is a little after 10pm, I am tired but not, I want to go to bed cause I have to be up early tomorrow for work and I want to make sure I am rested enough to go hiking after work buuuuut a big part of me is wondering why even bother going to bed when I know I’ll just lay there, jealous of the cat who instantly falls asleep as soon as his head touches a surface. The brat. πŸ˜›


No More Back Up Plan

11 Apr

You may recall a short while ago I blogged about thinking about going back to University, specifically, going to Law School. I was torn between being a grown up, sucking it up, and just going already and following my dreams and staying with the acting. I had almost convinced myself that I would start studying for the LSATs and take the necessary steps to apply. Β I would be a good lawyer, shrug, and I’m sure I would find it entertaining and challenging but it’s not acting. Nothing will ever be as good an option as acting. However, acting doesn’t pay very well unless you make it to the top and I’m sick and tired of being poor.

Turns out I don’t get to make the decision about going back to school, the government has chosen for me.

For those not in Canada let me explain how student loans work here. You apply, hopefully you get money, you go to school. Once you have been done school for a certain amount of time (6 months or a year, I can’t remember which) you are supposed to start paying back your student loans. However, if you are poor, which most recent graduates are, and not making a lot of money you can apply for Repayment Assistance. You send in a form, the people that manage the paying back of government student loans look at the form and decide if you are so poor you don’t have to make monthly payments.

I have always been that poor. 😦

When you qualify for Repayment Assistance the government pays the interest on your loan and you don’t have to make any payments, or you might have to make payments but small ones that are calculated based on what you earn.

Like I said, since graduation I have always been poor enough that I haven’t had to make monthly payments.

Well, the student loan people in all their “wisdom” have decided that I can now somehow magically afford to make monthly payments on my student loan. Uh, what?? I go a good 3 out of 4 weeks every month unable to buy groceries and only survive food wise because I work somewhere that has a kitchen and the chefs will feed me. I literally live paycheque to paycheque and now I have to find an extra $90 a month to give the student loan people??

student loans

Who does the math over there?? Do they not realize I live in a ridiculously expensive city? That I live on my own and therefore have to rely on my paycheque to pay for everything, no spouse/partner to help me out? That I have car payments? That I have other bills that I struggle to pay? Do they not realize that a person, no matter how little money they make, still needs to have enough left over every month so they can buy something fun otherwise they will go a little nuts?

The thing is, they know everything about me due to the nature of the organization. They have all kinds of info about me because of lending me money for school. They know what I earn, what my expenses are, where I live, the cost of living here, that I am human and sometimes need to buy something fun, they just don’t care.

They were more than willing to loan me money when I was younger, and stupider, and didn’t really grasp how hard life would be when I was done school, living on my own and trying to make ends meet and now that I am older, hopefully a bit wiser, and in the stage of life where I should be paying them back but can’t afford to, they don’t care.

They want their cut, just like everyone else and screw my need for groceries, rent, or anything else my money strains to pay for now.

As if that wasn’t mean enough the letter I got from them today telling me how much my monthly payments are also says:

“you are now restricted from future student financial assistance benefits, in the form of new student loans and grants should you decide to return to school in the future”


So, even if I was the most gung-ho person ever with regards to going back to school it wouldn’t matter, cause I can’t afford it, they won’t give me money for it, and even if I somehow found a way to earn extra money I wouldn’t be allowed to save it up because they would increase how much I have to pay them every month.

While I can see the logic of not continuously loaning money out to people who can’t pay it back I can’t help but feel the system is flawed. I went to University, did well, decided to pursue an acting career, haven’t made money at it (yet!) and am now thinking about going to Law School. I’m pretty sure the argument can be made that lawyers will always be needed and it is a slightly more secure career path than acting, so you’d think they’d be ok with helping someone go to school so they can then earn a higher income which would enable them to not only be a more financially contributing member of society but also pay back their student loans.

But since the world isn’t run using my logic I must follow the rules they have set out, flawed as they are, which means no possibility of law school for me.

Good bye back up plan *waves somberly at UBC Law Department* guess I won’t be seeing you soon.

student loan meme

Sidenote: I am well aware not being able to pay back a student loan is a “first world problem” and I don’t mean to come off as a whiny, spoiled brat, I’m just frustrated with the student loan system. you can’t get a well paying job without a University education, you can’t get a University education without student loans, tuition keeps getting hiked up which means loan amounts keep getting hiked up but once you graduate the promised well paying jobs are not there and so you are shackled with a huge amount of debt, with a high interest rate, and a low paying job. All because you followed the rules that said going to University was the way to succeed. *rolls eyes*

Does Growing Up Mean You Have To Give Up?

29 Mar

Do you know what you were meant to be?

Some people believe there are destined career paths for all of us and it is just a matter of knowing yourself and knowing what that career path is. Sort of like your career soul mate.

I’ve known what I’ve wanted to be before I understood it was a career. We didn’t watch a lot of tv when I was growing up, mostly what was on the tv was news, hockey, once every four years the Olympics, oh and Saturday morning cartoons lol. Basically, the shows that had real people in them were things that actually really did have real people being themselves (like news anchors).

When I got a bit older and started watching things that weren’t cartoons I wanted to be so many different things because I thought the characters I saw on tv were real people. If I saw a show and there was a cop character I really liked I wanted to be a cop. Hell, when I watched Free Willy I was torn between wanting to be a runaway kid and a marine biologist lol I actually spent a chunk of time learning about dolphins and whales, pestering the trainers at the dolphin exhibit in the mall with all sorts of questions about the health and habits of dolphins because I wanted to know everything about them. I thought by being a marine biologist that would make me like the character in the movie. Oh my twisted logic! πŸ˜›

Growing up I wanted to be a lot of things because of this misunderstanding about the people on tv and in movies. Sure, kids want to be lots of different things as they grow up but all the careers I chose were because I wanted to be that person on tv, not because of the career itself.

As I got older I started learning more about Hollywood and tv filming etc and I was hit smack dab with the realization I was screwed. Hollywood is in LA, I can’t work in LA, I’m Canadian. I’m not going to be randomly spotted by a scout, or have an easy time figuring out how to get an agent cause not only am I in Canada, I am in the freakin prairies! Nothing film-wise happens there! I shoved down my desire to be an actress because it seemed impractical (I come from a very practical family) and more than that, it seemed impossible. I didn’t tell anyone what I wanted to be because I feared their responses, so I kept my wanting-to-act a secret and just daydreamed about it. Those daydreams were half torment (constantly thinking about something you are convinced you can’t have sucks) and my only escape from the life path I seemed stuck on.

growing up sucks

Then I learned about film school. I was close to finishing my Bachelor of Arts Degree and getting more and more depressed thinking about how when I finished my bachelors I was going to go write LSATS and go to law school and while I’d be making everyone in my family happy I’d be quietly miserable. It was either that or get my Masters in Sociology which was more tolerable of an idea but less likely to get me a career when I was done so what was the point? A friend showed me a pamphlet about the film school he was going to for Digital Game Design, as I was flipping through it I saw they had an Acting Department. I was floored. You can go to school to learn how to act in Canada? How did I not know this?? Probably because I was so busy trying to hide from myself just how desperately I wanted to act. I asked if I could keep the pamphlet and tucked it in my bag. I carried it around with me for days, pulling it out, re-reading it like it was some forbidden text. I checked the school out online and it opened something in me. The box I had stuffed my dream in to opened a crack and I experienced a little bit of hope that just maybe I could have a chance to follow my dream. I applied for Acting School on the sly, didn’t tell anyone, I figured if they didn’t accept me no one had to know and if they did well, I’d deal with that if it happened.

It totally happened. They got my submission package, it included two self-taped monologues, and I got immediate acceptance. They actually apologized for taking a day and a half to contact me but they had to wait for one more person to view the monologues before officially accepting me even though everyone who had watched my tape said yes to taking me in. It seemed unreal. I was so excited I wanted to get up and dance lol

So here I am, years later, living in BC, still trying to earn a living at acting. I had the unfortunate luck of getting a string of not-great agents (one literally disappeared!), and having day jobs that barely pay the bills meaning all the investments I as an actor am supposed to make to be viable in the industry very rarely get made (new headshots on a frequent basis, demo reels, appropriate wardrobe, continued acting classes/workshops and more). Acting is one of those things you have to invest a lot of money in to before you’ll get anything out of it and I never have the money, I’m impressed if I can pay my rent, bills and buy groceries all in one month! lol

A friend of mine lately has been on my case about going back to school, she says I am wasting my brain at my day job (which yeah, ok, I am) and she feels I should give up on acting and get a responsible career. sigh. She’s not the only one, I know my parents would love it if I’d quit with the acting and do something that was more sensible. And yeah, I’ve been poor a long time, and some days I think I’m done with it and can give up my dream if it means I can have a larger, steady paycheque that allows to me to pay my bills, get out of debt and maybe even save a little but when I really sit down and think about it I cringe. Not about the money part, of course I want more money, but the giving up on my dream part.

Acting is…it is my thing. It is what I was meant to do. Nothing else makes me feel the way acting does, whether it is working on a scene, being in front of a camera, plotting my rise to fame with my agent. Just the idea of giving up, of no longer trying makes me sad. But I know I have to grow up at some point, and maybe I am at that point. Maybe I can’t wait for a time where I don’t feel despondent about quitting acting, maybe that will never happen, maybe I just have to push all my dreams back in to a dark corner in my heart and forget about them, squish them down and become like everybody else, doing a job I don’t love but that pays the bills with a little left over.

With that in mind I have an appointment this coming week for a tour of the Law Department at UBC. If I’m gonna go back might as well go back to the original responsible plan right? I had convinced myself I was ok with this tour, that it would be interesting and maybe I was up for a change until I got an email from the University I got my Bachelors from. It was an email with highlights of what people have been doing and one of the highlights was about a play being put on by students there, my first thought was if I go to Law school I’ll never have the chance to perform again, I’ll be giving all that up, and my heart hurt a bit. Why does growing up and making grown up decisions have to include the death of my dream and involve my giving up on what I want?

Growing up sucks.

were adults

Society and Rain

28 Mar

Two things stopped me from running tonight after work, well, three if you count my laziness whiiiiich I suppose is the only one that really counts but let’s ignore that one shall we? πŸ˜‰

I once again didn’t manage to get my lazy ass out of bed early enough to workout before going to work today, sigh, I hate myself for that every time it happens which fyi, is every Friday and Saturday. blarg. I have plenty of time before work starts to get in some sort of work out, whether it is an exercise dvd, going to the gym, going for a run, hell even just doing some squats and free weight stuff in my apartment but do I do any of those? Nope! I sleep in just long enough to not have enough time to work out then I chill and do nothing important before going to work. An utter waste of a day. I do this every week, it’s pathetic. *rolls eyes*

After work tonight (I was off at 9:15pm) I actually felt like working out. I didn’t feel all super pumped this’ll-be-the-best-workout-ever! but I felt, I dunno, like it was time. Like I had hit my fed upness with myself, hit my limit of lazy and wanted to do something physical. I had to stop at Superstore on my way home but I decided on the drive to Superstore that once I got home I’d quickly change and go for a run. I was actually looking forward to it believe it or not.



Well, after Superstore I get back in the suv and start driving and got hit by a wave of tiredness. Completely out of proportion to the level of activity I had for the day I might add. I swear I felt like I could have gone home, gone to bed and fallen asleep right away. I never sleep early, my body just can’t do it, so feeling like that was uber weird for me.

I got home, sat in the suv and tried to mentally convince myself that I was going to go for a run, even if it was slow, even if it was pathetic, at least it would be something. I was texting with a couple friends at the time and one of them said I shouldn’t go running, it was too late at night and not safe. I was all “huh? that’s ridiculous” but it got me thinking. I’ve gone for runs at night before and while running have thought it was high on the list of stupid decisions I have made because it is dark, late, paths are empty, not only could I injure myself due to poor lighting conditions but I could come across someone who has less-than-nice intentions and get myself in to some serious trouble. I’d be an idiot to not be aware of that.

I absolutely hate the idea of fear making a decision for me, of my not doing something because it could be dangerous, could put me in an unsafe situation, could have negative consequences. People would never get anywhere, have new experiences, truly enjoy life to it’s fullest if fear made their decisions for them. For all of that though, I have to be realistic. There are certain situations I really don’t want to be in, like being attacked while running, and if running late at night is going to increase my chance of that well, maybe I shouldn’t go. sigh.

Despite living in a city that is considered safe, in an area that I feel comfortable walking home tipsy in, I still have to be aware of my surroundings, keep an eye out for someone acting suspiciously, someone who perhaps doesn’t belong or might have nefarious reasons for being there. And isn’t that pathetic, and sad, and horrible? That as a woman I can’t go running late at night without having a niggling fear it could be dangerous, without having to be aware that it is my responsibility to not put myself in a stupid situation because others can’t be trusted?

How did this come to be? Or better yet, how can we stop it being like this?

While having these somewhat deep (and mildly depressing) thoughts the clouds opened up and it started to rain, not lightly drizzle but pour rain, which ended my internal debate on whether I would chance it and go running or play the coward and stay inside because I do not run in the rain, I might melt! πŸ˜‰ lol

So now it is almost 1am, I am still feeling a bit tired and I just might attempt to get an early night. Who knows, maybe if I get to bed and to sleep before 3am I’ll actually be able to drag my sorry ass out of bed in the morning and get it to the gym before heading to work! *crosses fingers*

Sidenote: you’d never know it by how lazy I have been for the past, oh, forever? lol but I actually really like working out. I know! I am that person, I said it, feel free to smack me upside the head! lol But I do, I like how I feel like I am accomplishing something, how I can feel myself getting stronger, how after I am done I feel better about myself – not just in how I look but how I feel health wise. You’d think all of that would be enough to get me out of bed and to the gym but somehow, it’s not. *rolls eyes*

and yet, still not enough motivation, sigh

and yet, still not enough motivation, sigh

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