Day Eight Hundred and Nine of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

93 Year Old Still Working

Today is the two-year anniversary of my Aunt’s passing so I called her 93-year-old boyfriend to see how he is doing. I always check on him on special anniversaries, holidays or birthdays of him and my Aunt. We talk about my Aunt and how we both miss her. There is a social worker type of person in his complex who also remembers to call him today and I’m glad. Nobody else remembers this day that means so much to him.

He told me today that he has decided to slow down with his consultancy business. He is a transportation expert and has quite a few clients. He wants to slow down by passing on his clients to his son and wants to introduce him gradually to his clients.

I think that it is amazing that he is still working at his age. He obviously loves it. I can’t imagine having work that I love so much that I would want to be doing it into my 90s! That would be my aspiration, to find some kind of meaningful job that I would want to do until the end of my days.

Rejected for TV Commercial Gig

Just when I was allowing myself to be a little hopeful about the possibility of getting a TV commercial gig, my extras agent emailed me her, ‘thanks, but no thanks’ email or rejection. I was quite disappointed because I didn’t get the TV show gig either. I saw that show being tweeted about today. I wonder why I didn’t get chosen for either one.

Short Run to Courier Company

I ran to the outpost for the courier company that was supposed to have delivered my concert tickets yesterday. I was at home all day and was waiting in anticipation of their arrival. I was on the phone for less than two minutes with my agent, otherwise, my phone line was clear for my outside door buzzer to ring.

Because they didn’t get a hold of me, I had to go to this outpost parcel place to pick it up. I got on my running gear and made the short run there. It was quite sunny and hot. I put on a lot of sunscreen even though I would not be out in the sun for too long. The first few steps were really slow and clumsy. But after that, I was able to get a good pace going, despite the weather. By the time I got home, I was dripping sweat and feeling satisfied.

Posted Tickets Online

Once I got home, I checked online to see what the prices these concert tickets were going. I was quite discouraged. It looked like there was a bit of a glut on the market. These are general admission tickets so there is no incentive that other tickets may have based on seat location.

I posted them anyway and waited to see what I might get. Despite me stating clearly what I wanted for the tickets, there were people who totally lowballed me. That made me quite anxious because I don’t have much time left before the concert. I’m worried that I won’t be able to get much for them after all.


I was feeling quite depressed today. I think that getting rejected for the TV commercial triggered it for me today. And then the realization that I might not get much for the concert tickets as well. And thinking about my Aunt.

Although the running today helped, I still felt quite sad when I got home. I can’t seem to get motivated to do anything useful today. Even gorging myself with junk food wasn’t doing it for me. All I can do is to let this day finish and try again tomorrow.

Day Eight Hundred and Eight of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Email from Agent for Commercial

I got an email from my extras agent asking if I was available for a possible TV commercial this week. I was scheduled to volunteer on the proposed shooting day but I changed my schedule so that I could do it if I got it. I haven’t gotten a TV commercial in a few weeks. It would sure be nice if I could get booked for it.

Call from Agent for TV Show

Later, I got a call from my agent. This time she wanted to check to see if me and my car was available for tomorrow. Was I? Sure! I’ve worked on this particular show many times before and I was wondering if they bring me back on it this season. My agent said that she would submit me and then let me know.

My agent got back to me fairly quickly. Unfortunately, they did not want me for tomorrow. That got me upset. Why didn’t they want me for tomorrow? Did that mean that they no longer wanted me and my car? Or did they have me in mind for a show later in the season? I was pretty disappointed.

Concert Tickets Delivery?

I have been waiting to hear from a courier company about the delivery of the concert tickets that I won the last week. The sooner I get the tickets, the sooner I can try to sell them online. I listened for the downstairs buzzer but it never rung.

When I got downstairs on the way out, I saw a sticker from UPS. They claimed that they had tried to make a delivery but that I was out. What? I didn’t hear from them all day! Unless they tried to call when my agent called, which was like a two-minute call, I would have most certainly answered!

As usual, one of my idiot neighbors stepped on the label and I almost didn’t get it. Whenever I see a delivery sticker on the outside door I always take it inside and stick it close to their mail box. Instead of being considerate, my neighbors could not care less and just let it stay on the floor, like garbage. I hate my neighbors. I don’t know why I bother to be considerate to them when they don’t to me.

Run Downtown

It was a little cooler but still sunny when I ran downtown this afternoon. I knew that this would be a short run today, so I tried to run as fast as I could to make up for it. The bridge was a little crowded with pedestrians today, so it was a little more difficult to navigate across it.

Once I got back on the road, it was crowded with more pedestrians, especially tourists coming out of their hotels. Still, I managed to do fairly well, despite having to dodge in between people and their luggage and their tour buses.

Free Movie Screening, The F Word

I got another free movie preview, this time for a Daniel Radcliffe romantic comedy, The F Word. I saw him get interviewed promoting this movie on a talk show. I have never seen one Harry Potter movie but I did see him on Broadway performing in a musical and really enjoyed it.

This movie was set in Toronto. Unfortunately, I thought it was awful. I couldn’t wait for it to end. Is that really how they see Canadians? I wish that they would have made it set in another city in the states like they usually do. I knew it was free, so I couldn’t complain too much.

Day Eight Hundred and Seven of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Early Morning Run to Free Lululemon Yoga Downtown

It was an overcast morning as I set off for the run downtown. I was feeling pretty energetic since I didn’t run yesterday, so I had a fairly good pace. As I hit the bridge, I started to think of the full and half marathon I had run on this bridge in the last few months. I passed a few runners along the way. I was running a race pace this morning and I felt pretty good.

Last Class at This Store

I thought last Sunday would be the last class at this store, but it turned out that it was today. They are closing this store and opening a big flagship Lululemon store just down the street. It wasn’t as full as it usually is, maybe people are away for the weekend or thought that the store was already closed.

I was lucky that today was being taught by one of my favorite instructors. I hadn’t seen her for a while. It was a really good class and I was glad that I was able to come today. After class, I got everybody to pose for a class photo. I know that classes will continue at the new store, but I still wanted to have a photo of this class in this store. Some of us got sentimental as we left the store for the last time.

Ran Home

It was quite hot and sunny by the time I ran home. Although I was able to run under some shade part of the way, for the most part, it was in the blazing sun. My running pace was a lot slower than it was this morning.

By the time I got home, I was pretty tired. I didn’t want to do much of anything. I rested a bit. This was a short run today. I remember when I used to do a long run of over twenty miles almost every Sunday. I really need to get back into that.

Mystery Shop

I decided to take the bus and train to the restaurant tonight. The restaurant is in the next town and I didn’t feel like driving after yesterday. I said that I would meet my friend at the station and we would drive to the restaurant together.

Before we went into the restaurant, I had my friend read the questions so that she’d know what I would have to report on. She’d done mystery shopping before so she knew what to expect. I could depend on her to help me getting the information I needed.

We have the same agent so we talked ‘shop’ for a while. We discussed the shows that were currently filming in town and whether or not we ‘got along’ with the casting directors and whether we got booked by them. We both agreed that neither of us was getting enough work right now.

The dinner went really well. Unlike the other times that I had done visits, this one was near perfect. The food was great and the service was exceptional. The server passed every ‘test’ with flying colors. I was really happy. I don’t like it when I have to report problems.

When I got home, I was eager to do my report and finish. This time, it took less time to write and submit the report than it usually does. I was satisfied when I finished and went to sleep happy.

Day Eight Hundred and Six of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Early Morning Drive

I got up early this morning to drive to Squamish, the mountain town, where they are holding the Squamish 50, an ultra marathon trail race. I used to drive past Squamish on the way to Whistler when I was a skier. I convinced my friend to volunteer and our shift was 10 AM. We would have to leave by at least 8 AM.

I was glad that it wasn’t raining. It was overcast though. There were a lot of cyclists on the road, so I was driving cautiously. I also wanted to make sure that I didn’t get another speeding ticket, like I did the last time I was driving to a volunteer gig last month!

All Day Volunteering at Ultra Marathon, Squamish 50

Today’s race is the longer 50 mile one. They are starting at 5 AM. They wanted us to volunteer at 4 PM but that meant that we wouldn’t be able to get home until after 9 PM and I didn’t want to drive home on the winding highway in the dark. I also didn’t want to be there for 5 AM either since we’d still have to be driving in the dark.

I was a little apprehensive about volunteering all day, eight hours as a course marshal. How deep in the woods would we be? Would I get eaten alive? Would it be raining? Would it be hot? Would it be cold? I packed a whole backpack of clothing possibilities and lots of snacks.

Trail Race

We checked in and then made our way to our post. I was a little concerned about how we’d get to since I’m so bad with directions and the map was really quite vague. After asking a couple of people, we finally got to our posts.

They said that we’d still have plenty time before the first runner was expected to get to our point of the race. My friend was just down the road from me. It was a little chilly so I decided to take off my shorts and put on my running pants. As I had my pants still around my knees to pull up, the first runner came by! We were both a little shocked to see each other! I hastily pointed toward the next part of the race, uphill. This guy was the eventual winner, finishing the race in around seven hours!

So there I sat for eight hours. Every time I’d see a runner, I’d start ringing my cowbell, say something of encouragement (they were in the race anywhere from five to twelve hours by the time they came to me) and then point to the path going uphill.

I was so impressed by these runners. When I thought about doing a 50 K race, I thought it would be no problem, just 10 K more than a regular marathon. Then, when I thought of all the hills and terrain, I realized that it could take me twice as long just to do the 50 K trail race! And today’s runners were doing a 50 MILE trail race!

Before I settled down, I did run a short part of it. I didn’t think it was too bad of an elevation rise. Then again, I was fresh, these runners would have been running for hours at that point. I sat in a comfortable camp chair, eating and reading the whole time. I certainly didn’t look like any runner, much less a marathon runner or trail runner! Unlike road races, every runner in this race thanked me for volunteering and being there. It was nice to be appreciated.

The last runner and sweeper came by at 5 PM, which was an hour faster than they had expected. We packed up and made our way to the finish line. We enjoyed a nice barbecue dinner and then made our way home, enjoying the now sunny scenery of the ocean and mountains.

We get a free entry for next year’s race for volunteering. I’m not sure if I could ever do the 50 mile, even the 50 K will be a challenge. But I’m already looking forward to it.

Mystery Shop Preparation

When I got home, I had to make sure and call the restaurant where I would do a mystery shop tomorrow. I had to evaluate them on their service as they answered a phone inquiry. It was later and the restaurant was busy and noisy.

The call went fine. I am looking forward to the shop tomorrow because I’m taking my friend for her birthday. Now that this is my fifth shop with this company, it’s getting easier to do.

Day Eight Hundred and Five of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Computer Problems Again

As I tried to work on my retail blog again today, I continued to have the usual computer problems. I’d be trying to type and the cursor would skip to another line for no reason, then I’d have to waste time deleting the text and then re-positioning the cursor and starting over again. The laptop would also hang for no reason constantly to the point where I’d have to do a hard shut it down which I know is not good for it.

I was finally fed up. I can’t hope to do my retail blog or online retail store if I have to stop every few minutes. It would take me so much more time to do anything. I was determined to buy a computer today. I checked my wallet for my credit card and set off for the first store.

Short Run

I decided to take this time to at least do a short run to and from the computer store. I had a good 14 mile run yesterday but only wanted to do a short run today. It was a nice run, I stayed in the shade and there was a little breeze.

I picked up my pace and was at full speed by the time I got to the store. I was a little out of breath even though I hadn’t really run that far. I had managed to work up a bit of a sweat just from running faster.

Computer Shopping

When I entered the store, I was surprised to see that the laptop area was fairly crowded. I looked at every laptop that they had. The one that they had on as a featured one looked good, too, it was a good price but when I tried to type on it, it seemed a little flimsy. I looked for the one that I had seen a few weeks ago.

This one was a little more expensive but had more memory, more everything. A salesperson whom I had talked with before came by. I asked him if it was on sale and he said no, but it likely would before the ‘end’ of back to school promotions. He checked their ‘sister’ store but they didn’t have it on sale either.

He said that I could buy it today, he would give me a $25 discount and if it did go on sale within a month, I could get the bill adjusted. But if it didn’t go on sale, I would not get more than that $25 discount. Otherwise, I could just wait and see.

The more practical side to me relented. I decided to wait longer again. After all, I’ve been waiting for so long. He told me that because I wanted a 17.3 inch size, it was cheaper since people want smaller and smaller computers. This would be my main computer that I’d just keep at home so that was fine with me.

Fellow Fifty Something and Unemployed

I went to the grocery store and ran into my old co-worker. She is older than me and also has been looking for a job. Unlike me, she has been working at it diligently and at a Workplace BC government office around the corner from me. She still hasn’t had any luck though.

She did get offered some temp work but she’s still hoping another offer will come through so she doesn’t want to be in a position of doing a temp job and then not being available for a long-term full-time position. That can be tricky. How long can you wait for that ideal job before you take a survival job?

I was surprised to hear that her sister, who is also in her 50s lost her job as well and is also looking for a full-time job. I’m not sure how diligent her sister’s job search has been but she has also not been able to find anything after two years. That’s not very encouraging news to hear.

I really have to hand it to my friend, no matter how discouraging things in her life sound, she always manages to keep on a happy face and stay positive! I wish I could be more like that. It’s really tiresome to keep that up for family and friends. At this point, I’m just trying to avoid the whole subject.



Day Eight Hundred and Four of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Early Morning Run to UBC

I got up early this morning for my weekly run to UBC to volunteer. I was worried that it would be raining but it had cleared. It was overcast but at least it wasn’t raining. I was looking forward to this run since I haven’t been running very long distances lately.

Adrenalin Uphill

The light turned green and I started to run across the intersection. A car had blatantly ignored our signal and barreled through the intersection, almost hitting me. I was so mad I screamed out, ‘We had the green light, you idiot!’. The driver looked like a deer caught in the headlights. She didn’t stop or slow down.

I was so angry that I ran way faster than usual up the hill. I didn’t let up until I got to UBC. That was sort of odd. I don’t usually get such an adrenalin rush from anger when running. In any case, I did get a good work out today. Maybe I should only run when I’m pissed off.

Another Contest Win

I won yet another twitter contest. This time it was for a pair of concert tickets. Unfortunately, they were for a concert of a singer that I’ve never heard of. I had hoped to get other tickets. I checked online and was surprised to see that the singer was more popular than I had thought. I must be out of the loop.

I still had no desire to go, but it looked like I’d be able to get rid of them easily online. I had to sign a release and send it back to the company. I really hope that I get the tickets soon since the concert is the next week. The good thing is, is that it’s sold out so I should get a better price. The sooner I can sell the tickets, the better.

Short Run to Theater Again

On the way to the theater, I went to a local market to see two top marathon runners promote their sports drink. I was quite thrilled to see them. I even got my photo taken with them. It was a bit comical, they are so tall and slim and there I am in the middle, not so tall and not so slim!

I watched a consumer report on TV about sports drinks. I don’t really run long and hard enough to warrant drinking those kinds of drinks apparently. I don’t usually buy them myself, but when I’m running a marathon, I will grab them all that I can. Does it make that much difference to my performance from water? I don’t know.

Free Movie Screening, If I Stay

This was the third free movie screening this week. I was particularly interested in seeing this movie because I worked on this movie last year. I played a nurse. When you work in a scene,  it is usually repeated several times to the point where you can recite the lines yourself.

This was a movie that had constant flashback scenes so it was difficult for me to figure out where the scene might be. Behind us were a couple of older ladies who wouldn’t stop talking. To make matters worse, one was hard of hearing. I was mad so I turned around to tell them to keep it down. When I returned to movie, I could see that the scene I worked on was over…

Family Friend Sick

I got news via email that a close family friend is sick. He had prostate cancer that has metastasized to his bones. I had just seen him in April when I was in Winnipeg. This news has made me so sad. First, my friend’s Dad passed away, then Robin Williams and now this. I’m in shock.

Day Eight Hundred and Three of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Cool Rainy Day

I was a little relieved to have another cool day today. It started to rain last night and continued all day today. We’ve had a pretty good streak of sunny warm weather but this cooler weather is nice, too.

Won Film Festival Gala Tickets

I got an email saying that I won a pair of tickets to the upcoming Vancouver International Film Festival Opening Screening and Gala next month from a twitter contest I had entered. I was happy to hear that because the opening film is usually a popular one and they have free food and drinks at the after party. This news cheered me up. I’d never be able to afford this event in my present financial state.

October Job

I got an email from the firm that I had worked for in May. I act as a patient and pharmacy students have simulated situations to respond to. Like the last time, I can’t work the second day, a Sunday because of a race, this time, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Vancouver Half-Marathon! Last time I couldn’t work the second day because of the BMO Full Marathon.

Luckily though, they will have a shift on the Friday and extended hours on the Saturday. I do enjoy this job, too. I’m glad that I’ll be able to do more hours this time. I can use the money as always, too.

Short Run

This is the first time I’m running in rainy weather for a while. It’s sort of funny, the majority of the year, being in Vancouver, you’re going to be running in the rain. But after so many days of sun, it takes getting used to again.

I got out my rain jacket though I didn’t bother with rain pants. It’s a little uncomfortable running in the rain when it’s still fairly warm out. By the time I finished my little run, I was pretty drenched inside and out.

I’m worried about this Saturday. I’m volunteering as a Course Marshall for the Squamish 50 race. If it’s weather like today, it’ll be hard to dress for. If it rains, I’ll want to have rain gear, but if it’s hot, it’ll get pretty uncomfortable all day.

And then, if I’m stationed deep into the woods, I might have to worry about bug issues. I really hate mosquitoes. I have already set aside my bug repellent that I don’t need for Vancouver but bought when I was travelling.

Free Movie Screening

This is the second free movie preview this week. It was The Giver, starring Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep. It was an okay movie though I don’t usually go for young adult science fiction type of movies. Still, it was better than last night’s free preview screening.

I’ve been lucky with free movie screenings this week, there will be three all together. And next week, I already have one on Monday to go to. How can I be so lucky with winning movie passes and yet not so lucky with other aspects of my life?