A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it's better than no inspiration at all.

~Rita Mae Brown
Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

~Alfred Adler


On The Bedside Table
  • NOS4A2
    by Joe Hill
My Now
Old Writey Bits
My Thanks
Matt Fitzhardinge - Alaskan dogsledding header picture


So how does one actually spend $70,000?

Let me establish first and foremost that this money is in lieu of a pension.

I have 25 years left to work.

I lost to the military 5 working years (during which I lost $20,000 a year in wages) before I even received the money.

$70,000 divided by 30 years divided by 12 months = $125 a month. For a 25% disability. Wow, so glad I joined the military and signed away my life.

I'd have been better off to have gone overseas and been shot. Or leveled by an IED.

Am I bitter about this? Sometimes. Yes. I am. But I try very hard to not be.

So, what did I do with the money?

Paid off the remaining $30,000 in debt I accrued during the last five years trying to survive/rehabilitate myself.

Put $2,000 into Miles (my car) so that I could give it to my 77 year old mother and stop worrying about her driving around in something she shouldn't.

Put $2,000 into my dental care.

Paid $16,000 into a car that was three years old and is now warrantied UP THE ASS.

Paid my rent for a year so I could just relax about trying to come up with that money minus an actual job.

Put $5,000 into building my own business.

Invested $10,000 into RRSP's.

How fast it goes. And how far it doesn't go.

If I'd received a pension, at 25% over 30 years, it would have been a more liveable amount of money. Their take on that - veterans just don't spend it well. Bullshit. I spent mine well. And I'm just at zero.

I'll spend the rest of my life being unable to work more than two days a week.

And it's been well established that it's 100% the military's fault.

Is the fight over?  No.

Am I getting on with my life?  Finally, yes.




Not a Drinker

My laptop, that is...

I'd be a lot more upset at destroying my laptop if I didn't have an external hard drive but as it is, I still lost quite a bit of unrecoverable data. Even more galling is that for two years I had a daily online backup and last month, I had to cancel it because I could no longer afford it.

Guess when the new Toshiba arrives, that'll be one of the first orders of business.

I am glad I have enough money now to replace it and it can be written off partially through the business but still....arg. For now, my housemates have lent me one of theirs so it's nice to be back on the 'net.

After a busy week which included a visit from a friend and unloading the second of the VERY LARGE trucks into a house so full of boxes it's indescribable, I'm taking a couple of days off before getting back to business.


Just a Piece of Paper

So, the cheque arrived in the mail yesterday. Quietly and without any noticeable fanfare. Which seems weird, if only because it's been such a long time coming and is really quite a significant event.

Regardless, a good nights sleep and I am off today to deposit it, pay off close to 30k in debt, open a business account at the local credit union, see the landlord for the office space, check in with my local advisor guy down at the employment office, buy tenant's insurance, and talk to the local tax guy about small business stuff.

I'd really rather just sit in the hot tub in the rain.


Mind Numbing Fear

So, finally, after five years, one portion (the Veteran's Affairs bit that's supposed to 'even out' what my disability will cost me for the rest of my life - ie: apparantly I'm 25% disabled) is on it's way as we speak.

And it would be a fantastic and lovely amount of money if'n I didn't have $30,000 worth of debt that the last five years caused (and which I am still seeking compensation for).

Regardless, I can pay everything off, fix lovely Miles (my car) and ship it over to MaJen before her poor thing kicks the bucket, get a new-er car with better gas mileage for myself, some dental work, prepay my rent for a year to allieviate some of the "whatifIdon'tmakeanymoney howwillIpaytherent fear, and I will actually have enough money left over to invest some for the actual future AND seed money to start my business.

Up to this point the thought has always been in the back of my mind that this day just wouldn't come and I've almost been okay with that.

But now?  Now I'm just scared spitless.



All the Small Things

I've been trying to get back into the mindset of seeing something and thinking, "I should blog that." Remember how that was so automatic for all of us?

Two observations so far this week.

One, I took Miles (my car) into get his Air Care testing. This is an emissions test that doesn't exist on the island but has been standard in the greater Vancouver (and Fraser Valley, apparantly) for the last how-ever-many years. They test your car and if it doesn't meet the standards then you have to have it fixed and retested within 6 months. God knows where I would have gotten the money for that if my wonder boy hadn't passed but I was told to get it done a couple months ago and I get the feeling that if I'd been pulled over there would have been fines and stuff. I was worried about Miles, frankly, cause he's 17 years old but it's all worked out alright. Anyways, they put you in this little glass walled cubicle while they test the car so you can watch and whilst hanging out in there I perused the helpful little brochures on the wall. You know, standard stuff like "What do I do if my car fails?" The one that caught my eye and gave me a little giggle was entitled, "Why we cannot test your smoking car."

Two, it is really sort of cruel to call me three weeks after my mother has had a mastectomy and tell me that the radiologist would like me to go BACK and have some more pictures taken after my mammogram last week. Obviously, they found something a little weird and I could give in to extreme paranoia, in fact, I WOULD, except that I've had three breast surgeries and so I know that things are a bit f'd up in there. In instances like these I try to keep in mind what the last surgeon said to me, "Breasts are made up of breast tissue and fat. You don't have either of these. You're all cyst so during this surgery we've just carved the cysts into a breast-like shape. However, it's likely they will continue to grow as they have in the past, so.... see you in 10 years." Yes, yes, he did say that. Funny man.

Kinda gross but an infinitely better way of looking at it then immediately freaking out. Cause, yanno, my 'freaking out' dance card is already quite full these days, thankyouverymuch.



It's Only Five Simple Rules

It's just such a big confusing sort of mess in here, innit? Originally, when I went with the floating my own boat thing, I had tried to make all the sections 'ship-like' hence, Crews Quarters, Lost at Sea, The Captain, etc but that's just not really working for me, especially since the penguin thing is all mixed up in there with the getsoutmore. I need something new. Or maybe something old. Ugh.

A few weeks ago, I read The Four Hour Body by Tim Ferriss and although the man may be certifiable for the simple fact of testing tons of crazy shit on himself, he actually makes sense and backs it all up. I'd recommend the reading of it.

I'm going to back up a little here.... After the lovely and successful liposuction two years ago, the doctor had switched up my meds to try and find something that would regulate my sleep better.  For the last few years I'd been sleeping 12-14 hours a day and was getting a bit sick of it so we went with something called mirtazapine.  And, although it's a totally scary drug, it worked like a hot damn. 

Except, it made me really really hungry and in the course of the first six months I gained 35 pounds.  At that point all the liposuction had gone to waist (see what I did there?) and man, was I pissed.  However, I tried to look at it with my usual sunny and irrational point of view in that the weight was more evenly distributed. So, that was good right? Cause, in theory, it should come off the same way.

I spent a couple of months on severe calorie restriction (1000 calories a day) but mirtazapine works in such a cruel and unusual way that I continued to gain 1/2 a pound a week.  Oh yes.  Irrational but true.

We, of course, ended up taking me off that drug (and giving me bennys, but that's another story).  Over the next two months, without any input/work by me of any kind, I lost 25 pounds.

That last 15 though?  Madly irritating.

Now we come back around to my point and Tim Ferriss' book.  I've been dabbling in the slow-carb diet over the last week, which is meant to reduce your body fat (I haven't tested it but I think it's about 25% at this point), and although the meals aren't bad at all, I've been having some issues in following the five cardinal rules...

Rule #1 - Avoid white carbs.  I'm going to assume the half a bag of tortilla chips I ate the other night during a salt craving violated this rule.

Rule #2 - Eat the same few meals over and over again.  Okay, not so bad!  The eating within one hour of getting out of bed is pretty hit and miss with me though and that's bad.

Rule #3 - Don't drink calories.  Yay!  I'm good here too. Except... low calorie drinks usually have lots of aspartame and that's BAD.  Need some tweaking on this one.

Rule #4 - Don't eat fruit. I'm good here too, since I usually don't unless I force myself to. However, I do juice so that's been suspended for a while.

Rule #5 - Take one day off per week. Good here too.  Although during binge day I ate a couple hotdogs, potatoes and a piece of herby bread with oil and vinegar.  Not so much of a binge after all. I'm a loser at binge day.

However, having said all that, I didn't lose any weight.  Why?  Because I have SNACK ISSUES.  Every night I've been eating 1/2 a cup of peanut butter mixed with 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips.  I don't know why, other than the obvious (I'm weak and a pig), but it seems to me that this little lapse may be the reason here that I'm not succeeding. 

And yeah, I laughed out loud at that last bit.

Oh well, it's a new week and that last 15 pounds (and the ability to fit into ANY of my clothes) doesn't care that I'm a weak pig. 

I'll let you know how week 2 goes.





Why Does It Smell Funny in Here?

DAMMIT, I just had a massive post... and lost it.I obviously need to brush up on my skills. So, let's give it another go, shall we? 

It's been a long few years for me. Emotionally, physically, mentally, financially, geographically. Sadly, it's not over yet and I just don't have it in me to chronicle it - which is why I just haven't been around. I've spent a lot of time just barely hanging on to everything, to anything by the skin of my teeth.

I'm back mostly cause, although the only change I've made lately is geographical, financially things have gotten even worse and lacking any room on any credit card I've been migrating, consolidating and getting rid of those monthly drains I just don't need anymore.  Typepad - gone.  MozyHome backup - gone.  Squarespace and smugmug stay.  Can't afford the upgrade here to forward the getsoutmore domain here for another couple weeks so I'd be surprised if anyone even noticed I was back.  I guess I'll have to bandy it about a little.  Anyways, if there is still anyone else knocking about, you'll notice some changes every day until I get my shit together.

Why don't these people take paypal payment?  Just askin'.

The big changes - Cabot's gone.  Katerina (Kaetlan Cares Not) passed a year ago.  I moved (but no job here yet).  Still in school.  Still in pain.  No (5 years and counting) nothing from the military.

I've changed the things within my power to change, which is awesome and good but when so much of your life is overshadowed by the one thing you have no control over - such changes bring small relief at best.

The house here has pretty much been torn apart and is being reno'd from the ground up so I do little bits of worky things interspersed with resty things.  Today, I've harvested some lavender, planted some watercress, chives and parsley, messed about and deleted my typepad account, weeded a shady bit of the garden and picked some rocks.

Picked rocks?  What, now?  The people who lived here before, in addition to letting the LARGE back garden overgrow for a few years, took it upon themselves to lay landscaping fabric over the front and side yards (quite big in their own right) which they then covered with rock.  Great way to keep the weeds down, yeah?  EXCEPT THEY THEN PUT DOWN 4-5 INCHES OF DIRT ON TOP OF THE ROCK.   ID-I-OTS.

Anyone need a tonne or two of pretty rocks?  Free!

The renos in my part of the house are based on what I want, which is pretty cool considering I'm the tenant so I've been trying to incorporate old things and well, rocks, into stuff.  Reuse!  Recycle!

There was a small storage/pump room (we're on well water here) that is being converted into my kitchen and the 80's vanity had to come out of the bathroom.  I painted both of them (well, Chris did, since I can't use my arm*click anything to biggie it*s that way) a light grey.  Then we picked up an old cupboard with glass doors and a counter, repainted them white, mounted them on leftover bricks and installed a pre-used sink.  Then I got a scratch and dent brand stinking new convection gas stove and fan/microwave.  Waiting for the fridge from upstairs to make it's trip down here and then we'll build a counter/cover/access for the pump.  I tiled the floor in grey and we got ceramic tile for the new countertops and we'll be putting up glass shelving along both walls so it doesn't feel all closed in.  Wth my red accents it should be pretty stylin' once it's done.  There's no window so I picked up a grow light and will be making a 'non-window' with some herbs and things over the cutting board area.  A couple pics 'in progress'.... that counter thing on the right has since been turfed - it's where the fridge will go.... anyways, a lot like camping here at the homestead.   

Since I normally have a bath every night for my back, we were going to pull the shower-only out and install a jetted tubby for me but I traded the extra cost of that and the new plumbing off on getting a better household hot tub.   Smart move on my part, I think.  We got a new vanity onsale (named Vanessa)....

....at 60% off, then I pulled up all the old vinyl flooring and installed new (grey rock looking like stuff - kinda).  We'll build or buy used some floor to ceiling cupboards for the left side and I've decided to use some of our tonnage of rock to create a backsplash and baseboards, as well as a soapdish and a couple other little things, maybe a bath mat?  I've just got to pick up some parchment paper and then I can start putting tile together.  It's sort of an experiment cause if it works well down here then some form of our own rock will end up in the bathrooms upstairs as well.

Then of course, the shower needs to be recaulked, the hallway refloored and the office/living area, bedroom and hallway painted.  The trim down here is dusky pink.  I bet you're jealous. 

I do love it here though.  The only drawbacks are the mosquitos (hopefully this is just a bad year) and the rain (ditto). 

I am off for the 3 block walk downtown to hit the library.  I'll leave you with a bumper sticker, cause I missed those lots and lots.  :)