Friday, August 31, 2007

I’m one in a million

I picked up my student ID today and it made me realise just how different I am from my fellow students.

I must be one the only freshman who:
- Has a mortgage
- Is übber excited to have medical, dental AND vision coverage!
- Actually exclaimed an auditable “SWEET” when realising we have a small life insurance policy
- Looked at the schedule of parties and wondered exactly how one would manage to attend all these mid-week parties on the first week of school. Did I really party all week my first time around?
- Has acne AND wrinkles
- Actually took the time to take a picture of her student ID and edit it. That has nothing to do with me being old… it’s just me being a nerd. :-)

I find it quite hilarious that one of the parties is a 90’s themed party! Complete with 90’s prizes. GAH!

En français s’il-vous-plaît

Yesterday I did my French placement exam. Basically, you write an essay and pray you get an exemption from having to do the mandatory French classes.

It went fairly well, but I find it so hard to judge if what I wrote was ok or great. I reviewed the text three times and each time found accents I forgot to add. Grrr. It’s not like I didn’t know the accent wasn’t supposed to be there, but it’s like the sometimes-absent dot above an i. Know what I mean? The room was so hot I thought I was going to pass-out several times! By my last review I just wanted to get out of there!

Anyway, it turns out that the prof leading the exam was my old French teacher from high school. He even recognized me! He left high school for the big leagues about 5 years ago. He was definitely one of the best French teachers I have ever had. He is so passionate about the French language - it’s contagious! Anyway, when I turned in my essay he asked what I was doing there so I told him about the career change. He told me he still had a story I had written for his class. We had to write a children’s Christmas story. He said he kept it all those years because it was such a great story. I felt touched that he would remember it and even keep it. Too bad I couldn’t use the children’s story instead of the essay. Hah!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Don’t you be takin’ my spiritual energy – bitch!

Pravus never ceases to amaze me. My mother has been seeing my brother’s daughter, RayLynn, on a weekly basis since he passed away. She kept saying how Pravus seemed to be nicer to her. She would also roll her eyes at me for not believing Pravus was turning over a new leaf. She’s changed, she would say, but I refused to believe her. Like I’ve said before; I’m not ready to make nice.

So last week, my sister Suzanne happened to say to my mother, “Mike must be working overtime sending us good vibes from heaven”. In the last three weeks there has been so much going on – You all know my stuff, but my sister Christine is also trying to sell her house and is working on starting to build a new house in the Spring while my sister Suzanne just bought a new house as well! It’s been quite busy in the Changa family. Anyway, for some strange reason my Mom mentioned to Pravus my sister’s comment. What was her response? In her nastiest tone: “What else is new – You and your girls get everything while me and RayLynn get nothing”. What. The. Fuck. Are you seriously jealous of the supposed spiritual vibes my brother is sending us from heaven? You’ve got to be kidding me!

First of all, you can’t say we all have perfect lives while you don’t – believe me – there’s been some really challenging stuff that’s happened in my family’s lives! Secondly, if you had actually put money aside the last five years while living with your parents, you could also own a house today! Don’t blame us – or Mike for that matter for your financial stupidity! Lastly – you are completely insane and I don’t even know why I bother wasting space on my blog ranting about you. UGH.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


It only took one month…four application requests… lots of stress and headaches… but I FINALLY have my Student LOC! What a freakin’ relief. In the end, I went to my local Credit Union with whom my family has banked for as long as I can remember. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to do this in the first place, though! Actually, I forget that I have an account there because I since living in Ottawa 10 years ago, I’ve always dealt with the Bank of Montreal. The only reason I did so was because I didn’t have access to the Credit Union while in Ottawa. Anyway, the other two banks I attempted to deal with gave me the run-around and lots and lots of wait time (29 days of wait time to be exact). Today I went in to my CU and it was all done and approved within an hour.

I’m officially ready for school!

From slave to the Man to slave to the books

I’m officially done work! It was a strange and surreal feeling yesterday when I left the office for the last time. It’s crazy to think that I will likely never sit in a cube for 8 hours a day, ever again! Not to say I’m not going to work, but my new career I won’t be working in an office.

I’m heading back to school in a week and am nervous as hell. Last night I commemorated the moment with a trip the Staples for some school supplies. As I walked through the aisle of paper and pens, I was giddy and queasy all at the same time. I took me at least 30 minutes to pick out my pens. I had always used colourful fine-point pens at work as they come in handy for proofing, but since I’ll be copying notes most of the day I needed something sturdier… something that wouldn’t smear. There are a lot of pens out there! There should really be a pen testing area at Staples. I ended up picking up a set of gel pens, but I already doubt my decision. Another trip to Staples might be in order.

The rows and rows of supplies were completely overwhelming. What did I need for my first day of school? Should I buy a calculator right now? What if I buy one that doesn’t have the functions I need? What if I don’t buy one and I need it for my first math class. Oh the drama. What about a pencil case? Do I need a pencil case in University? My memory of my former years as a student is so fuzzy! University students should get list similar to grade one students that tells you (or your mommy) exactly what you need. One yellow duo-tang – check. One red pencil – check. One 36 cm ruler – check. This would make things so much simpler. I decided I would stick to the basics for the time being: loose-leaf paper, binders, pens, pencils, and highlighters.

You’d think picking binders would be simple enough. When did binders become so bloody expensive? Whenever I needed anything at work, I just flipped through the pretty catalogue, picked out the goods and gave my list to the secretary. The next day, my toys would magically appear. No such luck as a student. So back to the binders. The cheapest ones were $5 and looked pretty flimsy. The price range for a basic binder went all the way up to $19. What exactly are you going to be doing with a binder that you need to pay $19 for it? I opted for the semi-cheap ones at $8. Even with my minimal supplies, the total still came to $55. Ugh.

Today is a day of complete relaxation. I had originally planned on working on the house today, but you know what? I deserve a day off! The next few days are going to be hectic and busy and I need to be rested for my new adventure.

I’ve got me a plumber.

I’ve finally rented out all three rooms in my house. The trio of borders makes for an eclectic mix.

1 – We have the engineer who works like crazy so I barely see her (so far, three times this month)
2 – We have the sweet supply teacher who seams to be pretty cool. She would be considered my perma-roomie as she really is the only one who is here every day.
3 – Finally, we have the plumber. He’s in his early 40s and is married with kids. He actually lives in PEI and works in Moncton during the week. Which means he will never be here on weekends. He works 12-hour days and just needs a place to crash at night. He’s also offered to fix anything that needs fixing around the house – bonus!

It should be interesting should all three renters be at the house at the same time.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The nightmare room - before and after

This was the room when the previous owners were here.

This was the room before I removed the shelves. They had lots of shelves in that room. The plan was simply to remove the shelves and repaint the room...

After removing the sheleves... hmmm... there seams to be wallpaper here... I wonder what is underneath it?

Ah yes! Faux wood panneling wallpaper!


Once all the wallpaper was removed, it was on to repairing the wall!

After painting the walls, I repainted the floor, which was black with splatters of pink paint! One thing I learned... don't leave your coffee cup on the windowsill when painting a floor or you won't get your coffee back for another 24 hours!

Me, realising I lost my coffee.

The final product!

My room is still very much a work in progress, but here is a sneak peak. The wall colour:

This will be my duvet with the fabric for my bedskirt and pillows

This is the bureau I've refinished

I'll post pics once it's complete.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Someone stop me!

I’ve just accepted ANOTHER job.

In a few weeks I’ll be waitressing at Cora’s (yummy breakfast place). I’m excited and happy with my decision.

My current employer didn’t want to keep me on retainer and just wants to pay me on a per hour, as needed basis. I could go weeks without a paycheque so I decided to explore other options.

I applied yesterday and was offered the job today. I’m still going to keep the catering gig for the time being (maybe even till the end of September), just to make sure it works out with Cora’s. I’ll also do a few contracts for my current employer and see where things go with them. The moment I gets to be too much I’ll stop.

The best part is, since it’s a breakfast and lunch place I would never work later than 2 or 3 pm. Plus, with the tips I’ll be making I might even be able to keep my car! How crazy is that? I’m still looking to get out of the lease but not so worried if I don’t find a buyer right away.

I guess all the panicking earlier this week was for nothing.

The dyslexic carpenter

I think a dyslexic carpenter used to own my house. I swear; everything is upside down. Door hinges are inside out, light sockets, switches and door handles are upside down, walls and floors are just plain crooked. Obviously, you wouldn’t call it dyslexia… it would be a dystexo based on the inability to construct accurately. Hmmmm. I might have discovered a new disease state. Although it’s a bit annoying when you are trying to replace something and are challenged to figure out how the heck this thing got installed, it also makes me feel at home. I think my Dad was dystexo. Lots of things are upside down in my Mom’s house. Often, things wouldn’t quite fit so duct tape became his best friend.

So as I look at my crooked house, I can’t help but smile and feel that my Dad is looking down on me, smiling too.

PS: I’m really not trying to make light of dyslexia! My nephew has dyslexia and he works his little heart out to keep up with everyone else.

Monday, August 20, 2007

What is the universe trying to tell me?

I’m having a bad day. Two months ago it seemed like everything was pointing me in the direction of a new career, but lately the universe seems to be making things a tad more complicated. The financial situation isn’t what I was hoping it would be – here is the run down:
- My second request for a loan has been denied. My alternate option has possibly gone bust as well (can’t get into it online)
- I was hoping to be kept on a retainer with my currently employer, but they didn’t’ bite. They will keep me on, but only pay me what I bill them each week. This means it won’t be the stable paycheque I had hoped for. Right now I just want to ditch them completely as I will have to suffer through more stupid writing without the income I wanted.
- I’ve advertised my car lease for the last week in the local paper and not one call.
- I still have one un-rented room

I’m feeling exhausted by the pressure. Between the unanswered financial issues and the home repair, I’m just so tired. I also feel like there is no one to talk to. I usually go one about such things on my blog, but not being able to get into the details (and have someone on the other end say – my God that’s ridiculous! You deserve better) makes me feel lost. My sister is also in Paris right now (bitch) and she is normally the one I tend to turn to.

I’m starting to doubt myself.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Is it a boy or a girl?

I placed an ad for room rentals over the weekend. I have two rooms available. So far, I’ve had one girl check out the place and she seems fairly interested. I hope she takes it! She’s a teacher and seems like a sweet person.

My problem is… I have a guy who called as well and he is coming to check out the place in a bit. I would really prefer women, but in desperate times I would take a guy. I still have two weeks before September first and am debating if I should say the place is renting to this guy and wait it out for another roommate possibility.

I haven’t even met the guy, but his voice was just a little creepy. I’ll wait until I meet him… but in the end I’ll have to go with my gut, I guess.

Edited to add: The teacher took the room and the guy never showed so no decision to be made. One down. One to go.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I dream of men

It's not as exciting as the title implies... I just had the strangest dreams last night.

At the beginning of the dream I was with Mike... not Mike my brother, but Mike my ex... he came to me for advice on buying a condo. We went condo shopping and I was incredibly frustrated at his need for a lavish abode and his complete financial irresponsibility. He had debts up to his ears, no job and no savings, but he was still looking at condos that were 50,000 more than what I paid for my house. Apparently in my dream we had broken up and gotten back together several times. As we are looking for a realtor I realize just how much he annoys me and want to have nothing to do with him again, but feel bad for dumping him for a fourth time. So I make a run for it while he is talking to a realtor.

Once I leave Mike, I meet up with an elementary school friend I haven't seen in years. She invites me to a party, so we pile into a car and head to her place. My Mom is driving as she is also going to the party. On the way there we stop at the University and my childhood friend gets out of the car only to fall into a river. The party-goers decide to get the friend some clean clothes and I decide to stick around the University while they finish up. I tell the group to call on my cell when they get back to the University. The University is now a grandiose maze of underground tunnels with stores like Walmart, Future Shop and Lawton's Drug Store. I make my way through the maze and am astonished by how much the University has changed since the last time I was here.

I make my way into an unfinished tunnel with leaky plumbing. There, I see Lac-Hong, my boyfriend when I was 17. In the dream he is an engineer working on creating more tunnels... this makes no sense as he is actually a professional cello player in real life. Anyway, we chat and he gives me a wad of cash saying it's for the booze I'll be drinking at the party. He kisses me, but then pulls back saying he forgot he was married. We say goodbye and I make my way above ground. The sun is amazingly bright as I climb the stairs out of the tunnel. Just then, my cell phone rings. Apparently my friends had been calling for hours but I couldn't get reception in the tunnel. Standing outside the University building is Mike... not my ex Mike, but my brother Mike. He gives me some corny gift that has a picture of him and I... but it's from when I was a teenager. He tells me he is leaving for Montreal or Vancouver to start a new life. He looks very healthy. He tells me to come visit often and if I ever have a boyfriend to bring him with me. He also adds that my boyfriend would have to sleep at a friend's house because he wouldn't want us to sleep in the same bed. Somehow, this makes complete sense to me. My sister Suzanne is there and she laughs at my brother's corny gift... I kick her for laughing and she stops. I hug Mike and tell him to drive safely. The hug seems to last forever... then I wake up.

Happy analysing! :-)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

But what do you really think?

It’s strange to see the different reactions from people when I tell them I’m going back to school. I usually get one of three responses:
a)An enthusiastic: Wow! That’s awesome! Kudos to you for following your dreams
b)A look of total confusion with some congratulatory statement… often followed by, didn’t you just buy a house?
c)Radiology... but it’s so different?

I know some people really don’t get it. I don’t understand why it’s so shocking that I’m going back to school in a field completely unrelated to my current field… yeah, like an 18-year old never makes the wrong career choice?! If I wanted to stay in a similar career wouldn’t I just change jobs? I guess I find it hard to understand why people are so afraid of change since this fear doesn’t seem to exist in me.

Also, I kinda hate having to justify my actions. Yes, I DID just buy a house, but it’s all part of the plan! Hello?! I just didn’t go on vacation and decide on a career change! If only people understood just how thought out my plan actually was. You guys have seen the process... I’ve done pretty much everything to ensure I’m making the right move!

Do you ever just wonder what people really think of you? I feel like my current co-workers might gossip about me behind my back. Like: “What’s up with Changa and that weird light on her desk” or “Can you believe she just bought a house on her own” or “What the hell is she thinking going back to school” or “I bet you she suddenly decided on a career change because her brother died”, etc. I couldn’t care less if they talk about me, I just find it interesting. I guess I haven’t really opened up to my co-workers so I’m a bit of a mystery to them. If only they understood the inner workings of my complex mind. :-)

This might sounds like a rant, but it’s not. It’s just some random thoughts.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Talented Ms Changa

My first day back and I’m already looking forward to the end of the day. :-P I arrived this morning to numerous questions along the lines of “what the heck are you doing?” People seem happy for me, but also somewhat sad/frustrated to be loosing a team member. It’s so odd to hear people saying; but you’re so talented! I don’t feel talented. I’m not trying to be facetious here; I really feel I don’t excel in this field.

It’s always been this way with my writing. Throughout my school years I would bounce from one teacher saying I was a wonderful writer to the next one saying I was a crappy writer. I think part of me went into communication to prove I was capable of doing it. If I was so talented, I doubt everything I write or create would be riddled with red markings. And if this field were really the one for me, it wouldn’t feel like having my teeth pulled every time I had to write something.

What defines talent in a field like marketing/communication? Is it the ability to write? To create? To innovate? By what standards are these talents evaluated. Gah! I’m so happy to be leaving this ambiguous field!

On to the new stuff!
I’m trying to decide what kind of work I’ll be doing come September. My current employer has offered me 5 hours a week to do occasional communication pieces. I’ve also got the catering gig which can give me anywhere from 5 to 15 hours a week – but it’s not very consistent. I’m trying to decide if I should work the 5 hours for my current employer + the catering gig or give up both and do maybe 15 hours of waiteressing a week.

Pros and Cons

Pros of doing 5 hours a week for current employer
Salary would cover ¾ of my required income to survive
Stable and constant salary

Writing about yucky things like children’s dental coverage
Not being able to have a clean break

Pros of keeping the catering gig
I really have fun at the job
I like the people I work with
I know what to expect

Hours are unstable
Hours will greatly diminish in the New Year
Potential for some really late nights (3 AM)

Pros of finding a new waiteressing job
Potential to cover my costs in one job
The places I’m looking at would close by 10 PM at the latest

The unknown – what if I don’t like it?
What if the hours aren’t guaranteed?

Decisions. Decisions.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

It's freakin' official , Baby!

This just deserves it’s own post!

I am officially a University student! Wheeeeee! I just talked to my boss and gave my notice. I can now shout it from the rooftops! I’m FREE!!!!

He took it fairly well. He laughed when I told him at least I’m not leaving him for someone else. :-) He will tell my co-workers and on Monday when I go back everyone will know.

I also talked to my Mom and she is happy for me; stressed, but happy.

In three and a half weeks I'll be sitting in a classroom. EEEK!

Hey Cuz – My Mom knows!

I took a deep breath and went for it. I went over to her place around 9:00PM – she knew something was up as soon as I walked in. I told her I had news to which she replied, oh no, what happened. I told her it was very good news. Then I just came out and said it. I told her about the months of planning, the research on careers, the financial options and of course my complete certainty that I’m making the best decision of my life. She was shocked, but after the surprise wore off she said she was proud of me and agreed to be my co-singer.

My sister Christine and I had a plan in case things went sour. She called on my cell phone about 45 minutes after I left for my Mom’s place. If I said, I’m at Mom’s chatting, you should come over – it meant, oh crap! Help me! If I said, I’m at Mom’s, but I’ll be home soon – it meant, everything is going fine. Meet me at m place and I’ll tell you all the details. We’re such geeks! Hah! Anyway, turns out I didn’t need any rescuing. When she called my Mom saw right through our plow and said: tell your sister everything is fine. :-)

She told me about my father going back to school at age 30 to become a teacher. This was just after they got married and my Mom was pregnant with my brother. She told me what a huge change in him a career change made and that if a new career is what is right with me, she will support me in any way she can.

I know she is still going to worry and be “stressed”, but her feelings are beyond my control. I don’t think there is anything I can do to make her not worry about me. I’ve also come to realize that since my brother passed-away, my mother must be feeling lost. She spent 44 years taking care of my brother… she defined herself by her need to take care of him. Now that he is gone, I think it’s very hard for her to find herself. She doesn’t know how to be anyone BUT the caretaker. On some level, I think she is struggling with her self-worth. I can see where “taking care” of me has become more important. In her mind (subconsciously), taking care of someone makes her a good person… so not having someone to care for kinda makes her less good. The problem is; I don’t let her take care of me like my brother did so she is struggling with her role. I know it’s her issues to deal with, but the fact that I now realize why she is worrying about me so much seems to help.

Now I only have my boss left to tell. In a few days it will all be official! I still can’t believe it’s actually going to happen!

I still haven’t received my student LOC, but it’s really just a technical issue at this point. TD Bank just got a new computer system and my loan application is stuck in cyber land until some techie can fix the kinks. The loan specialist I spoke with seems confident that I will be able to get the LOC with a co-signer.

Disclaimer about the post title.
My poor cousin has been reading my blog for months and following my daily drama. Every time I see her she asks if I have told my Mom yet – she is scared of slipping up! So finally, Angela, you’re free to say anything. :-)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I'm Chicken Shit

I had a meeting with TD Bank today for my student LOC and it seemed to go rather well… I should know tomorrow.

The problem? It’s 99% certain I’ll need a co-signer. I’m terrified of asking my mother. My fear is not that she will say no… my fear is that she will say yes. I love my mother, but we are very different people. She is extremely “stressed” right now because I bought a house that’s “old”. She isn’t making payments; she doesn’t live here, yet she is still so “stressed”. Plus, I’ve gone and bought this house without a husband! I must be insane. The thought of me leaving my full-time job to go back to school is likely going to send her off the deep end. Ugh.

I’m afraid that if I ask her to be my co-signer, her signature will come with three years of judgment and additional stress.

You know what sucks the most in all this? If I had a husband, my Mom would not think I was crazy for buying a house nor going to school. I could be in an unhappy marriage right now and things would make more sense to my Mom. Ugh.

Think positive thoughts – have a positive day

I’m not having such a great day. I’ve been up since 6:30 am with pain and numbness in my right hand… it’s the carpel tunnel. Just when the acupuncture was starting to work, the scraping, painting and lifting made things worse. Ugh. I sanded the wallpaper from hell room this morning and added more polyfill to cover the holes. I was so painful! I was trying to put the putty on with my left hand and could barely hold the can with my right. Ugh. Right now I’m slowly typing with my left hand.

My poor, poor wrist. :-(

I’m on break for the rest of the day – I just really need to rest my wrists. Here is a picture of my spackle-happy room (formerly known as the wallpaper from hell room).

I think I had a few holes. Hopefully tonight my wrists will be rested enough to at least prime the room.

I’m waiting for the furniture guy to come cut my box spring so I can get it up the stairs. I hope this works! I’m dreading helping him push the stupid thing up the stairs. I fear pain in my future.

As for the student line of credit, I’ve called Scotia Bank and apparently you can’t actually meet with someone at a bank. I swear; banks are the stupidest institutions in the freakin’ world! I have another 1-800 number to call to see if I qualify for a student LOC. I’m waiting until the furniture guy has come to do his thing before I call. Once I’ve called the 1-800, I have to do the application online. Why can’t I just meet with a human being? GRRRR. Speaking of stupid banks, I’m still dirt poor. I don’t think I mentioned BMOs major screw-up last week – apparently they screwed up when transferring my RRSPs to my chequing account. The bank director advanced me the money last Wednesday so I could pay my lawyer and get my house, but now my account has been in overdraft since then. The problem is, I don’t actually have an overdraft so it’s like I have zero funds in my account. The RRSPs still haven’t been transferred as of today. I just left a nasty message with the bank manager. I mean seriously – this is getting ridiculous!

I’ve had requests for more house pictures. I’m posting a few, although the place is still quite the disaster zone. I’ve got boxes everywhere!

Here is my new couch and funky chaise longue:

Here is a messy picture of my kitchen/computer relaxation area:

Monday, August 6, 2007

My one fear…

…has come true. I’ve been denied my student line of credit. I’m speechless. Even without my car, with my rooms being rented out and with a co-signer I’m being denied. What the fuck!?! My mortgage is $482 a month – I can’t even get an apartment for that price! I don’t understand why stupid little freshman fucks can get lines of credit and I can’t.

I’m heartbroken. The thought of returning to work is killing me. I can’t believe that I’ve been through all of this – for nothing.

Friday, August 3, 2007

When I have nothing to do, I remove shelves

- While waiting for the cable guy to finish – I removed some shelves.
- While waiting for the phone guy to do the wiring - I removed some shelves.
- While waiting for the movers to bring in all my stuff - I removed some shelves.

I think I only removed about a ¼ so far.


More Shelves

Right now my box spring is sitting in my downstairs office because the movers couldn’t get it upstairs. I have to wait until Monday for a furniture guy to come cut my box spring up and put it back together. EEEK!

Picture of my stairs after the battle with the box spring

Lovely pictures of my wallpaper room

Before the shelves came down

After removing the shelves and realising the paper was coming off

What is this behind the paper? Why it's more wallpaper!

Oh crap that’s a lot of wallpaper!

But you know what? I couldn't be happier. :-)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Home Sweet...

I'm in my new house! Yay! I've discovered the former owners had an odd love for wallpaper, shelves and painting OVER wallpaper and shelves! Not so yay!

I"m about a fifth of the way in one bedroom. It took us all morning just to remove the thousands of shelves. Now it's wallpaper scraping time. Ugh.

I'll be moving my furniture in tomorrow so right now I don't have anything other than a computer (with internet) and a tv (with cable). It's hard to type while sitting on the floor. :-)

Well, I must get back to scraping! I'll update soon with pictures.