Covid Dreams

20 Aug

Have your dreams changed since the pandemic began? My dreams are apparently a bit unique in that they are usually a coherent story, it is like watching a movie while sleeping. I actually really enjoy remembering my dreams because of the entertainment factor. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it sucks when the dream is overwhelmingly sad or scary, but for the most part they are entertaining. Its like even in sleep my brain doesn’t want to be bored lol

So here I am, getting through the pandemic, doing my thing, and then one night my brain incorporated this new way of living into my dream. The procedures we have all been adopting over the past months have taken a deep enough root in my brain that even sub consciously I want to follow them.

I find this fascinating.

The dream! In the way of dreams it seemed logical and made sense while I was dreaming it but upon waking it doesn’t quite make as much sense as it felt like it did in the moment.

I was with a friend walking through a building, we had been shopping and had some bags in our hands, it was the end of the day and we were looking for the door we needed to exit to find our ride. We came across a large empty room, think hotel ballroom type of place, where the chairs are all pushed to the side and are comfy enough for a ten minute sit but after that you start shifting because your butt hurts from lack of a decent cushion. There was a stage at one end, not massive, the size you might have at a convention, so those speaking are higher than the crowd and visible by all.

My friend and I decide to sit down for a couple minutes cause our feet hurt, and then continue looking for our door. As we are sitting people start coming in the room, they start uncoiling wires, setting up equipment, getting the stage ready for something. They didn’t ask us to leave and we found watching them interesting so we stayed. We figured somebody would eventually say we had to get out since they were obviously prepping for an event of some kind and we would leave then.

Crowds of people started to stream in and before we knew it there was a group large enough to fill the room, all standing, facing the stage. They were all in a good mood, obviously anticipating something fun. My friend and I were debating trying to fight our way through the crowd to get to the door, which was on the other side of the room, but by this point we were curious who was going to be on the stage and nobody had kicked us out so we were inclined to stay.

A band came on stage, I wish I could remember which band it was, I just remember in the dream being psyched because it is a band I love and I couldn’t believe I was going to get to watch them in this impromptu concert. We decide to stand and join the crowd and as soon as we did I realized how many people were in the crowd, and how none of them were wearing masks, or distancing, and how it was impossible to distance in that room, and there was zero ventilation, and it was basically a space I wouldn’t have thought twice about being in back in January but now horrifies me. I was overwhelmed with the need to get out.

I kept thinking that if my work finds out I’m here I’ll be put in to self isolation for 2 weeks without pay and who can afford that? I also kept thinking this is going to be the next place an outbreak is linked to and I wanted nothing to do with that nonsense.

The rest of the dream is a bit fuzzy. I woke up with a jumble of emotions and thoughts that stayed with me while I contemplated the dream. I don’t buy in to the idea that dreams mean something or are trying to tell me something, but I do think they can open your mind to seeing something from a different angle, or at least give you something to think about for a bit.

So far that is the only dream I have had that incorporated things from my covid lifestyle in to it. Not gonna lie, I wouldn’t mind if my self distancing, mask wearing, hand sanitizing, no traveling, lifestyle kept itself out of my dreams for a while longer. I mean c’mon, a break from reality, especially such a quickly changed reality, can’t be a bad thing, right?

Revelstoke, BC

7 Aug

Lauren and I went away for 3 nights, 4 days, to Revelstoke, BC. For those of you who don’t know, (and I don’t judge if you don’t know because I didn’t!) that is in the BC interior, about a 6 hour drive from Vancouver.

It was great to get away from the normal day-to-day, though a bit odd to be travelling while there is a pandemic going on.

The trip was designed so we could have minimal contact with other humans. We just wanted to drink, and hike, and drink, and throw axes, and drink, and shop. Ya know, standard summer stuff lol

We didn’t get to do everything we wanted to, but we had fun and that’s what matters. Oh, and we didn’t melt, though it sure felt like we would, that also matters! Trust us to pick 4 incredibly hot days to travel and plan all outdoor activities for.

I attempted to edit the pics into a video, instead of showing a slideshow on here like I always do. Here’s hoping it turned out!

Pandemic Buying

6 Aug

Admit it, you bought something during the pandemic that you look at now and go “what was I thinking?”

For me that item is a Dutch Oven. I bought it when everyone was baking bread and I thought I might want to try. All the easy bread recipes I found said you had to use a Dutch oven, which of course I didn’t own. Because why would I?

Canadian Tire was having a sale so I impulsively bought one. And by “impulsively” I mean I kept refreshing the page for hours because apparently everyone and their dog was trying to buy from Canadian Tire that day.

I just assumed it would arrive quickly. It did not. By the time I got it in the mail I was already back at work. I was on two weeks self isolation in March but after that ended I was back at work because I’m deemed essential.

To help you realize how dumb of a purchase this was for me, I bought it in March, I finally got around to opening the box in July. The end of July. As in, the very end of July. And that was only the packing box! The actual box with the Dutch oven in it was opened yesterday. Yeah that’s right. August 5th. Go ahead. Judge me. I can take it. 😜

It is now washed, dried, and I’m trying to figure out where it is going to live. Obviously in the back of a cupboard where it isn’t blocking access to any of the other kitchen tools I don’t use.

I mean seriously, I couldn’t have at least bought a new purse? That would’ve had way better odds of being used! 😂

Cats and Gravity

3 Jul

I put off swapping a load of laundry because Striker was stretched along my legs, completely passed out, and incredibly adorable. I figured I’d just wait until he chose to get up, ya know, as one tends to do.

He rolled over and I’m not really sure what happened but things went wrong and next thing you know he’s flopped on the floor on his side.

Before you freak out, he’s fine! The only thing hurt is his pride.

Striker did what a cat always does when slightly less graceful than normal, he immediately went to his food bowl and started eating like that was the plan the whole time.

I, like the mean human I am, laughed a little. Then I took advantage of not having Striker on my lap, and dealt with the laundry.

When I came back into my apartment Striker was not only unimpressed with my behaviour but outright cranky about it. It took cuddles, and apologies, and slight grovelling, to get his forgiveness. Even with all of that he is still giving me this expression…

Unimpressed cat

Perhaps I’m not quite forgiven after all?

Canada Day 2020

1 Jul

Happy Canada Day! Hope it was fun, not too wet, involved at least one person you are fond of, and that you were safe while celebrating!

Canada-Day 2020

Not the usual Canada Day message lol

I worried this year, that people would be stupid, say screw the self distancing and masks and being careful, all because they wanted to enjoy the day. I think partly that didn’t happen because so many events and celebrations were cancelled, and partly it might be possible that I should give people a bit more credit to not make a dumb choice that puts everyone they come near at risk.

Or hey, maybe there were tons of parties happening, and people breaking all the rules in place to keep us safe, and two weeks from now we’ll have new outbreaks. What do I know? 😛

My day was spent at work, enjoying the Canada Day celebration we had there, which was odd, but fun in its own way. Then I did a quick workout and came home. That’s it. It is possibly the quietest Canada Day I have ever had.

Thanks to Canada Day celebrations being online I got to enjoy fireworks in the comfort of my own home, I’ll put a link to the video below. I could have gone outside at 10pm, pointed my phone at the sky, and apparently seen virtual fireworks but it is raining here and that just wasn’t a thing that was gonna happen…by me anyways. I’m sure some people went out and tried.

I also enjoyed some of the concerts put on by various Canadian artists, or I suppose it was technically one concert with each artist being in a different place, and clips being shown one after the other.

I’m adding a small selection of some of the clips, they are all on YouTube if you want to find more.

You probably didn’t spend today how you wanted to, just like you haven’t spent the year how you wanted to, and that sucks. The restrictions we follow seem that much tighter on special days, because aren’t those days supposed to be exempt some how? Except of course they aren’t, we just wish they were.

I’m sorry if your Canada Day wasn’t what you wished it was. I hope though, that you were safe, and those you care for are safe, and that you can find some bit of the day that made you smile.

A Snippet of Adulting

15 Jun

This morning while waiting for the kettle to boil so I could make tea I had nothing to do. Instead of just standing there I prepped my breakfast for the next two days.

Now, before you start to be mildly impressed at this random burst of responsibility let me point out my meal prep consisted of measuring oats into Tupperware bowls, tossing in measured toppings, and popping the lids on the bowls.

Not exactly rocket science, or even cooking.

Despite how ridiculously easy that was I have decided that was some weird combo of adulting and self care, and if that’s the level I managed of those two things today, well, that’s the level.

Not everyday can involve meal prepping entire dishes for the week ahead. Not every act of self care can be something Instagram worthy.

Some days tiny, almost insignificant actions, can be what result in an easier time later in the week; which to me equates to self care, and in this case meal prep, in the most loosely used definition of the term.

So try to give yourself a bit of credit for the small things you do for yourself. They count. You know why they count? Because I said so! And if that isn’t a classic adult answer I don’t know what is lol

Never Just An Oil Change

13 Jun

An oil change never ends up being just an oil change, have you noticed that? Sometimes the add on expense is a new filter, you grumble a bit, but get over it quickly. Other times the unexpected expense brings your total cost to $1698.42 and you want to cry a little. Or eat cake. I really wanted to eat cake, sigh.

Turns out my front brakes were at 5% and my rear brakes were at 20%. Not good! The mechanic was surprised because the test run he did with my suv had no squealy brake noises, no indicators anything was wrong with them. Poor little suv was chugging along like everything was fine when in reality she was hurting…I’m sure there is a metaphor in there somewhere but I’m too focused on the new balance of my Visa statement to figure it out.

In the end the front brake pads and rotors were replaced, as were the rear brake pads and rotors, the front brake hoses were replaced because they had holes in them, they performed a brake fluid flush, and oh yeah, the actual oil change.

Here I had been so cocky that I had $126 saved up, enough to get the oil change and pay for whatever little thing they would say also needed replacing, all paid for without having to pull out the credit card. As it turns out, that $126 won’t even make a dent in the bill and Friday, which is sit down and budget day, is going to be a day of math magic while I figure out how to deal with this unexpected expense.

I’m trying to focus on the bright side of things, and the list I have is as follows:

I was told that if I had kept driving my front brakes would have been grinding metal on metal within two weeks, so yay that I avoided that!

This was all an unexpected find, I went it there thinking nothing was wrong with my suv, so thank goodness I went in and this was found before something worse happened.

The shop I go to is run by an amazing guy who knows I work Sundays through Thursdays,  he stayed late to get everything fixed so I could pick it up and have it for when I work on Sunday, saving me the expense of a rental vehicle.

I’m lucky enough to be able to take on the debt of this bill and still be able to pay rent and buy groceries.

So yeah, in the end does it suck all of a sudden having this huge bill to pay? Yeah, of course it does. But it would be a hell of a lot worse to have had the brakes fail and be in an accident, or do that metal on metal grinding thing, or have a less competent mechanic who didn’t notice something didn’t look quite right and dig a little deeper to discover how bad of shape my brakes were in.

Every time I get pouty about my new Visa balance I’m going to do my best to remind myself of all those positives, and maybe, just maybe, get myself a slice of chocolate cake because hey, I’m human, and sometimes cake helps make things a little bit better. 😉

choc cake

Mimicking the Cat

20 May

On a recent day off I decided to do to Striker (the cat) what he does to me. Seemed only fair to show him what it’s like being on the receiving end of certain behaviours, right?

Here is what I learned…

What I did: got super close to his sleeping face and stared until he woke up.

What I learned: Striker doesn’t like that. Don’t do that. A startled awake cat is an unhappy cat.

What I did: I couldn’t stand on his chest while he was laying down and try to limit his breathing ability so instead I laid my head on his tummy area when he was laying on his side.

What I learned: Striker doesn’t like that. Don’t do that. A squished cat is an unhappy cat…who may or may not decide to bring out the claws.

What I did: talked to Striker incessantly because I could almost see the bottom of my bowl and I was obviously being starved.

What I learned: Striker doesn’t like that. Don’t do that. A cat being irritated by a talking human is a cat thinking of how best to get his human to shut up…permanently.

What I did: I got in bed first and spread eagled to take up as much space as possible, leaving Striker to get comfy in what little space was left.

What I learned: Striker doesn’t like that. Don’t do that. Striker will one hundred percent meow at me loudly until I move so he can have the prime spot on the bed.

And lastly…

What I did: commented on every yawn and stretch I did all day instead of comment on Striker’s adorable yawns and stretches.

What I learned: Striker couldn’t care less about that and is adept at ignoring me.

My life lesson from this is don’t pretend to be a cat, I can’t be as good of a cat as Striker can and mimicking Striker put me in danger of claws and teeth and revenge, not exactly ideal.

My No Spend Attempt

9 May

Ok, so, if you look at No Spend challenges in a very black and white sort of way, I failed. I however, choose to acknowledge the grey in life and think I didn’t do so bad.

no spend challenge

I set for myself a No Spend challenge, it was to last two weeks, and officially ended yesterday. I was allowed to buy gas for my suv, as well as food / household items as needed. Oh, and pay bills, obviously lol.

In that two week period I had two opportunities to donate to charity, one to the Edmonton Food Bank and one to the Vancouver Food Bank, and I donated to both. Neither of those donations fit in any way, shape, or form, to the short list of acceptable purchases but I have no regrets.

I also paid the entry fee for a virtual marathon. This one is a bit trickier. I had intended to wait until the end of my No Spend challenge to buy my entry but found out last week that it was the last day for the early entry fee, which meant that after that date it would cost more to sign-up. I suppose I could have just said I wouldn’t do it, or I could have waited until my challenge was over and paid the higher entry fee, but, well, no. I wasn’t going to miss doing this with my friends, and why would I wait a week and pay more for something when I could buy it that day and pay less?

The No Spend challenge was meant to help get my spending back in line with my budget, that doesn’t mean I stop looking at the bigger picture and spend less on a certain day only to spend even more 8 days later. Sometimes logic is what is in that grey space.

So yeah, technically, I broke the No Spend rules. Ok, not even technically, I did break the No Spend rules but not in a bad way. Not in a I bought more books, or clothes, or some other random item that I don’t really need but I’m bored and saw it online and impulsed bought it way. I donated to charity, and bought something I was going to buy anyways on a day it was a cheaper purchase, how can that be bad?

This is why I tend to shy away from No Spend challenges, and similar things I see in the budgeting world. They don’t always lead you to making the logical purchase, or they may restrict you from an opportunity to help someone else.

To me, I think the better way to go about curbing your spending is to stick to the budget you gave yourself. Maybe you don’t budget, and ya know, if you don’t and that works for you, cool. For me, I budget. I set myself an exact amount of money to be used for gas, food, household items, and other categories. My problem is lately I’ve been going over budget by buying more online, things I never would have bought before, partially out of boredom, anxiety, because outside of work I do nothing and interact with almost no one, and somehow that has led me to increasing my shopping. Not good. Shopping is not a coping skill. I need to stop treating it like one.

Which is why, for the next two weeks, I’m not putting myself on a No Spend challenge, I’m putting myself on a Stick To Your Freakin Budget Challenge. Much more my style, don’t you think? 😉

 

A Perspective Thing

2 May

If you were to ask me how the day went, and then ask the cat how the day went, you’d get drastically different descriptions despite our having spent the bulk of the day together.

My relating of today goes something like this…

Got to sleep in, which was nice, eventually got up, made breakfast, fed the cat, chilled with a couple episodes of Criminal Minds, realized I can’t be super lazy all day so went for a walk and was gone about an hour and a half. Once home did a quick vacuum of the living room, kitchen, and bedroom, started the laundry, made dinner, sat down to eat and watch more Criminal Minds. Between changing the loads of laundry I cuddled with the cat. All in all a pretty chill day.

The cat’s version of today is a tad different…

Was forced to wake up before I was ready, that human just can’t figure out the proper time to get up. Walked the human to the kitchen and was not at all surprised she put her needs before mine when it came to getting breakfast ready. Why she thinks it is ok to make her tea and toast her bagel before getting me fresh water and food is beyond me. Switched napping locations to the ottoman in the living room, I refuse to let her have the use of the entire ottoman for fear she will get spoiled and think it is hers. For a while I lay on her legs, I like stealing her body heat and it’s funny when she starts to get uncomfortable but doesn’t move because I’m on her. She had the nerve to get up and go outside! I definitely did not give her permission to do that. She was gone so long I thought I had been abandoned and was going to have to ration my food and water until rescued. Eventually she returned, I refused to acknowledge her, someone who would leave me like that doesn’t deserve my affection. I was then harassed by the evil loud machine that wants to eat me. Using all my stealth and speed I outwitted it once again. Instead of eating me it ate all my shed fur, the pieces of cardboard I had scratched and spread on the carpet, and the kitty litter I expertly kick out of the box and on to the floor. All that hard work destroyed! I immediately started replacing what it had eaten from the floor. The cardboard pieces are not as many as they once were but I will fix that over the next couple of days. I have already kicked more litter out of the box and despite my human trying to catch my fur that sheds when she pets me so she can put it in the garbage I have successfully left some fur on the carpet, the ottoman, and the living room throw blanket. I have been extremely productive today and deserve treats, obviously. After dinner I got the human to make a blanket fort for me to sleep in but she kept messing it up by leaving to go “switch laundry”, whatever that means. I employed my cutest positions and got her to stop getting up when the faint buzzer sound came from the other room thereby ensuring I got some much needed uninterrupted sleep. Now the human is up late waiting for the “last load to finish” and I am forced to sleep resting against her outstretched leg. I make sure to deep sigh and look at her with my sad eyes every ten minutes or so, making sure she realizes she is letting me down. I want to go to bed but have to wait for her so I can take the best spot right before she tries to get in the bed. It has been a traumatizing and exhaustive day, I can’t wait to get some sleep so I can be ready for my early morning tapping of the human’s face.

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