Day Eight Hundred and Eighty of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Depressed Again

I’ve been feeling depressed again lately. Now that it’s officially colder fall weather, I’ve been having trouble getting motivated to do much of anything. Before the race on Sunday, I did feel some motivation to get out and train for it. But now that it’s over, I just feel like staying inside and hibernating.

I keep postponing my deadline to get my online retail store up and running. First it was supposed to be September 1st and then October 1st and then November 1st but something always came up that got in the way. I hate being such a procrastinator. Now I’m thinking that I should just give up for 2014 and just aim for 2015. That’s the ultimate in procrastination for me.

Long Transit Ride

I couldn’t get anybody to go with me for lunch on this mystery shop today. First of all, I didn’t give people much notice and then it is pretty far away. Nobody wants to spend the extra time going there and back just for lunch.

I considered driving and then thought that since I wasn’t really making any money from this, I shouldn’t waste my gas. If I’m working on a movie, then I’ll drive because at least I know I’ll be getting an 8 hour minimum. I considered running there but then remembered the exposed highway on the way that might make it too dangerous.

So I took transit. By myself. The bus was pokey and I had to get off to transfer to a train. From there, I had to wait 20 minutes before I got another bus. At least it was nice and sunny out. The last bus ride was not that long, I probably could have run it if I knew where I was going.

Mystery Shop

When I finally got to the restaurant, I was surprised to see that it was packed and that I’d have to wait 20 minutes. I never thought that a suburban restaurant that seems to be out in the sticks would be hopping busy on a Wednesday afternoon for lunch, but it was.

When I got seated, I was a little dismayed to see that they seated me at a large booth table. You could have seated 8 people around it. I’m not sure why they did that. I wondered if they might have guessed that I was a mystery shopper and wanted to keep their eye on me.

The lunch went well. Aside from a few minor issues, most everything was fine. I got to order a larger entrée because there was just me as opposed to the usual shop, when I have to order two entrees, up to the same maximum amount. I was glad that I was able to do this shop before the end of the month.

Ran Downtown

I went home to check my machine and computer before setting out again for downtown. I thought I’d be able to use my bus transfer but it had just run out of time. It was a nice day for a run so I ran downtown.

Free Movie Preview Screening, Nightcrawler

My friend gave me a free movie preview screening for Jake Gyllenhaal’s movie, Nightcrawler. It was delayed because there were so many people for the preview so they had to open a bigger theater. I was a little worried because when the movie is over, I have to write up my mystery shop report as soon as I get home.

It was a different movie and Jake Gyllenhaal gave a really good performance. He played creepy sociopath really well. Rene Russo was also in it and did a good job. Two hours later and I was heading home. I started in on my mystery shop report as soon as I got home and I was glad that it only took me two and a half hours to complete.

Day Eight Hundred and Seventy Nine of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

No Storm After All

I had been expecting a storm the night before but it never came. It was raining over night but none of the high winds and power outages that they had forecast on TV. I managed to get a pretty good sleep.

Computer Problems Persist

I was quite frustrated with my laptop again today. I’ve not been happy with this laptop that I bought two months ago. I thought that all of my problems would disappear when I bought this new one, but it introduced a host of other problems.

I dropped by the electronics store the other day and they said that I should just bring it in so they could look at it. I had paid over a $100 for them to get it all set up. Every time I encountered problems, I really resented paying the money. The only thing I didn’t notice, is that I only had one month where I could complain.

Mystery Shop Assigned

Although I had just done a mystery shop last night, I decided to see if they would approve me to do one more before the end of the month. They get a little desperate by the end of the month. I was surprised that I was approved for one I had requested.

The only problem with this shop is that it is a little far away. I considered running there but there is one part of the road which is not that safe to run along. I didn’t really want to take my car. I decided that I could take transit there. Now, I had to find somebody who would be willing to go that far for lunch!

TV Commercial Cheque In

I got a call from my agency. They told me that my TV commercial cheque has arrived. I was glad to hear this. I had spotted myself on the commercial a few days ago and was surprised because I usually get paid before I see the commercial on TV! I think the advertising agency must have really rushed to get it on air after we finishing filming it.

Take Laptop Back to Store

After I had yet another problem with my computer. I unplugged it and went to the store. I was so annoyed. I was ready to slam it on the table. I walked to the store and tried to explain to the IT guy.

I was there for 45 minutes while he went through different things. I was scared that he would tell me that I’d need to leave it and pay for a tune up. I don’t want to have to do that. The other two customers who came in at the same time had brand new computers that were already acting up. That’s not a good sign.

They did manage to fix things. I was so grateful. I bought an anti-virus, too even though I usually use the free programs. I was hopeful and optimistic. When I got home though, the same problem came back. I was upset again. I was happy for just a short time. At least they fixed some of the problems.

Attended Tax Seminar

I had signed up for a tax seminar weeks ago. I got a call from the financial institution reminding of it tonight. I couldn’t remember why I had signed up for it exactly. There was another seminar down the street that was about estates so I wasn’t sure which one I should go to. The tax seminar offered refreshments and it was closer, so I chose that one.

The building is literally a couple of minutes walk away. I had walked by it many times but had never gone in. I was happy to see a fruit platter, cheese and cracker platter, a dessert platter and glasses of wine.

The room was packed. I ran into a yoga friend there. I was one of the younger people attending. This all looked so familiar to me. I used to do financial seminar presentations in my investment career. I could have done this one in my sleep.

I didn’t really learn much at this seminar but it was good to remind myself of what is out there in the financial services industry, career-wise if I wanted to return to it. I wasn’t that attracted to it but I may have no choice if I can’t get my act together in another field.

Day Eight Hundred and Seventy Eight of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Taking it Easy

I thought I’d be tired this morning after yesterday’s half-marathon but I was okay. I took it easy last night and didn’t put any high expectations on myself this morning either. It was another rainy day today. We were lucky that it was a nice sunny day yesterday for race day.

Mystery Shop Pre-Visit Call

I had to call the restaurant I would be visiting tonight. Usually, the pre-visit call is easy and they do well. This time, it was a little odd. I got the feeling that the person who answered was a little confused or maybe the kitchen staff who weren’t used to answering calls. I hope that the visit is okay.

Ran Downtown

Since I was feeling okay, I decided to run downtown. If I hadn’t felt so good because of yesterday’s half-marathon, I would have allowed myself to take transit. I didn’t run particularly fast but I was fine.

The run was business as usual. It was overcast and a little drizzly. I was grateful again that it had been a sunny and dry day during yesterday’s race. Today, I could handle this rain. I was all alone on the bridge, no other runners or pedestrians.

Hoarder’s Group

I attended my monthly hoarder’s group or decluttering group today. There were only a few of us today. While I was there, I was thinking of all the things that I really need to get rid of. The first thing I want to get rid of is a large black leather recliner.

I checked on Craigslist and there are others. I had bought it because I thought that my Dad would like it when he visited. But he never even used it except to place his suitcase on. I can’t even remember how I got it in the room. I have to drag it out, take pictures and then post it in the free section of Craigslist and hope that somebody will drag it away. Otherwise, I’m not sure how I’ll be able to get rid of it.

Mystery Shop

I met up with my friend and we walked to the restaurant. It was one that both of us had wanted to go to because it’s right on the beach. It has large windows all around so we could see the view of the ocean and mountains. It was raining so it wasn’t too crowded.

The shop went well. It was nothing out of the ordinary. The food was excellent, service fine. There was a forecast of a storm tonight, so I wanted to get home early. It was already starting to rain by the time we had left the restaurant.

Ran Home in the Dark

Since I was still feeling fine, I decided to run home. I had remembered to bring my blinking light reflector. It was raining but it didn’t bother me. Again, there was nobody else on the bridge which was sort of unusual.

All I wanted to do was get home. I was a little uncomfortable because of all the food and drinks I had had but managed to slog on home. I knew that I had the mystery shop report to write as soon as I got home and I wanted to get it done as soon as possible.


Day Eight Hundred and Seventy Seven of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Early Morning

I managed to get up an hour before my alarm was to go off. I still felt sleepy so I changed my alarm to 30 minutes later. I tried to sleep longer but then I was so anxious that I’d sleep through the alarm so I just gave up and got up.

I had set aside my running outfit the night before. I had two versions, one for a non-rain race and the other for a rain day. I heard the rain late into the night so I wasn’t confident that it would stop by the time morning came. I checked out the weather forecasts and it did look like the rain had stopped.

I decided to take a chance and wore my non-rain gear. I put on my wig, tutu, matching pink running shoes and set off. I got a little worried because the bus had not come at the scheduled time. Was this going to be a rerun of my BMO full marathon where I got there too late to check my bag and had to run the whole race with a big backpack?!

Running with Friend

I got to the start line very early. There were a number of runners on my bus. Considering I was wearing a pink wig and tutu, not one person batted an eye. I had forgotten that I was dressed up until I got to the race area and some of the official photographers asked to take my photo.

I looked for my friend in her corral, which was faster than mine but she wasn’t there. I wandered around, looking for my other runner friends, but couldn’t find any of them. I thought that was odd but figured I’d see them at the finish line. I grabbed a banana and stuffed a granola bar in me, hoping that it would pass for a race breakfast.

When I got to my corral, I found my friend there. She had decided to run in the same corral. She had been in Hawaii for two weeks and wasn’t able to train so she wasn’t expecting to do that well. We both also decided that this Rock n Roll Half Marathon would be a fun race, where we would wear our costumes and not concentrate so much on the finish times.

I’m not used to running with somebody. We hadn’t seen each other for a while, so we spent the first half just catching up and chatting. We were both running fine. We saw a pace bunny and were trying to pass her.

At the half way point, I started to get Achilles issues so I urged her to go ahead. I was a little disappointed because I hadn’t experienced pain there for a long time. I slowed down for a while and my friend sailed off.

In a short time, I felt better and started to pick up my pace. I started to feel great and picked up time on the downhill parts. I looked at my watch and saw that I could meet my last time if I kept this up. My wig kept sliding which was a little distracting to me and the tutu was a little scratchy sometimes.

Two Runners Down

I was doing well at the end of the race. My Achilles tendon pain had gone away so I was able to pick up my pace. As I was approaching the 9th mile, I could hear a siren and people telling me to go to the side. I looked up and saw a young male runner on the ground, shirt off and somebody on top of them, giving him CPR. He was surrounded by at least 6 medical people.

I was worried about him. Heart attack victims don’t often survive, just as my Mom did not. I ran a little farther and saw another ambulance. On the side there was yet another runner who was down, getting CPR. At first I was confused. Was this the same runner? Had they let him resume the race and he collapsed again?

But no, they wouldn’t have let him run again. I realized that this was another runner down! I couldn’t believe it. Here we were at mile 12 and here was another runner laying on the ground. There was another group of medical people working on him.

Good Finish

I kept checking my watch, knowing that I would be close to my last half-marathon time. I was feeling disconcerted thinking of those two runners. But at the same time, just wanted to get this race over with. I noticed more and more people walking and I wondered why they would do that in the last mile of the race.

I even urged one walking runner to get going again. I said that she was so close to the finish line. I said that she could rest all she wanted once she crossed that line. And then I took off. Did she think I was just being obnoxious?

I looked for my friend and never saw her. I figured that she had passed the finish ages ago. I gave a burst of speed at the end as I crossed. Funny though. As always, when I checked the marathon photos taken, I looked like I was walking! Why does that happen?

My friend was at the finish line area. In the end, it turned out that I finished two minutes faster than my previous half-marathon despite the wig which kept sliding and my tutu. My friend had only finished two minutes ahead of me. When I looked at some post-race photos, my wig was askew and I looked like an old man with a toupee which kept moving out-of-place.

Celebratory Burgers

We took some time after the race to get our free beer and some snacks. We listened to the bands playing, too. I only saw one other runner that I knew, which was surprising since I thought I’d see a lot more of them. We decided to head for my favorite burger place to get a huge double burger to celebrate. I kept thinking of this burger the whole race.

Rest and Recovery

When I finally got home, I gave myself a pass to do nothing. All I did was sit or watch TV lying down. I felt fine. I was a tiny bit achy, but nothing like after I’ve finished a full-marathon. After them, I feel like a wreck. Maybe I wasn’t pushing myself enough, should I have felt more tired?

Day Eight Hundred and Seventy Six of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Early Morning Bus

I didn’t get to bed as early as I should have last night. I was tired but I was a little anxious. I got up this morning knowing that I had to take an early bus and yet just couldn’t get motivated to move faster.

I was late getting out of the house and missed my bus. I figured that it wouldn’t be such a big deal because the last time I had worked for this event, everything was chaotic and we didn’t start until much later.

I was fifteen minutes late when I arrived at the university. Luckily, I knew exactly where I was going because one of my jobs last night was to put up signs to where the event was going to be.

Worked All Day

The last time I worked, it was quite disorganized and we didn’t start right on time. This time however, they were organized and ready to start. So I wasn’t able to sneak in. But I did make it before the first session started.

The first acting scenario was a little rough because it was the first. But I eventually got used to the script I was supposed to follow. I had been given a fairly easy one, too, so that was good.

We had a break after 15 sessions and broke for lunch. We were all tired by that time so it was good that we got to have a short lunch. Some of the other actors were talking about other standardized patient opportunities so I took note to look into it later.

We worked the rest of the afternoon and then was finally finished. I was glad when we finished. I enjoyed the work but the classroom where I was working was quite cold. I had to wear my coat all day long.

The others got to leave to go home but I had signed up to work a little longer to help set up for tomorrow’s session. I was a little worried that we would finish late but it was only another couple of hours. I wanted to rest as much as possible before the race tomorrow.

Pre-Race Prep

Although I’ve been training and thinking about tomorrow’s half-marathon for months now, I didn’t actually give much thought to my usual race prep. I set out my pink wig, tutu, matching running shoes, long sleeve shirt, Rock n Roll Vancouver tank top ready for the morning.

I tore my place apart looking for my spi belt. I have three but for some reason, I could only find one. I wanted to use one for my wallet and one for my camera. I ended up jamming my wallet and camera in the one which did fit, but was a tight squeeze.

I pondered over what I would wear if the weather was bad, good and in between. Although it’s been pouring rain lately, it is forecasted for sun. I’m going to be optimistic and set out non-rain gear. When I finally got to sleep I could still hear the rain. I hope it will clear up soon!

Day Eight Hundred and Seventy Five of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Normal Sleep Last Night

I managed to get some normal sleep last night. I was hoping that I would get back to a normal schedule quickly after working that night shoot a couple of days ago. I want to make sure that I am okay when I run my race on Sunday.

Short Run

I decided to do one short run this morning. I knew that I wouldn’t have any chance to run tomorrow, the day before the race. It was overcast and a little drizzly. I just wanted to see if I was running okay. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have any issues. I seemed to be okay this morning.

That being said, even if I did discover some issue, at this point, two days before my half-marathon, there’s not much, or rather, absolutely nothing I can do about it. I keep reminding myself that this race is just for fun. I shouldn’t place any lofty expectations on myself.

Half-Marathon Volunteering Gig

I went to my volunteering gig this morning. I signed up for my usual, package pick up. I would also get a chance to pick up my own race packet anyway. I’ve done this lots of times.

This race, one of the Rock n Roll series, is very commercial. It’s very successful and attracts lots of runners to their events. Races are their business. They are very organized. They have full-time staff who know everything cold.

Some of the people are volunteers, like me. And sometimes, those are the areas that are lacking. Although it is nice to be a runner in an event which is so organized, it does lose that community feel that most volunteer led events have.

I ran into some of my friends who will be running. My volunteer shift went by quickly and painlessly. I had a quick visit to the race expo and then I had to run off. I ran into another friend and spent more time that I should have, talking.

Set Up Work

I had to take the bus to SFU, where I would be setting up for tomorrow’s mock exam. I was running late plus the bus was quite slow. I didn’t get there until almost 30 minutes after the time I was supposed to start.

I ran into another person whom I had worked with last time in May. He was also running late, so I didn’t feel so bad. We got to the room and was surprised to find that another person was there, but not the guy in charge.

He ended up being delayed and didn’t arrive until two hours later. Once he arrived, we had to rush to get all the classrooms set up for tomorrow’s first day. There were stations set up in several classrooms so I did have some time to run up and down the halls.

It was after 9:30 PM by the time I had finished and was on the bus. It took well over an hour to get home. I was quite tired because it was quite physical work, moving boxes and supplies to each classroom. I would also have to wake up early the next day to go back. I won’t get much rest at all before Sunday’s marathon but at least I’ll be making some money.

Day Eight Hundred and Seventy Four of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Three Hour Sleep

I got home so late last night from my night shoot. After an hour’s drive home in the pouring rain, I was happy to get home at 8 AM. It was a 12 hours plus shoot and I was tired. I haven’t been getting too many long days like that so I was happy. This will be a good chunk of change.

I was a little keyed up from being awake so long. Part of me wanted to go to sleep and get a good solid sleep but another didn’t want to miss my usual UBC volunteer gig. I compromised and set the alarm for two hours later. I would wake up and see how I felt.

UBC Volunteer

I woke up after two hours of sleep but was just too tired. I re-set the alarm and tried again. An hour later I reluctantly got up to head for UBC. Usually, I would look forward to the hour run there but after a few steps, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do it.

I couldn’t believe how being so tired prevented me from doing even the shortest of runs today. It didn’t help that it was still raining quite heavily. I gave in and just hopped on the bus. I felt guilty but knew that I was in no condition to run.

Japanese Design Lecture

After I finished volunteering, I headed to another part of campus and took in a Japanese design lecture. Some friends had recommended it. A professor and architect were presenting Japanese style design and buildings.

I really enjoyed the first presentation. I got to meet up with my friends as well. But after the intermission, I was just too beat to stay awake for the second part. I had to leave to get some fresh air to wake up.

Short Run

At this point, I felt a little better. I decided to do a short run to see how it would go. Although I felt a tiny bit better, I decided to cut the run short. I felt a little guilty about now getting in a decent run today. But with the way I feel, there’s just no point.

Free Movie Preview Screening, John Wick

I had another free movie preview screening tonight. It was Keanu Reeves latest, John Wick. It was an incredibly violent movie. I was really surprised that I didn’t fall sleep during the movie. I sort of wish that I had fallen asleep…