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

Another Gorgeous Sunny Day

It was yet another beautiful sunny day. Despite the heat, I was still able to get a fairly good night’s sleep. We’re already half through summer so I want to appreciate these nice days as much as possible.

Another Paper Clearing Day

I did another paper clearing day today. Although I’ve made some headway, I still have piles of paper that I need to get through. I’m the type of hoarder that will take different paper and throw it into a pile. I figure that I will eventually get to it. But I rarely do.

Although it’s neatly put into a pile or box or whatever, it’s out of sight, out of mind so I miss out on things. I’m good with bills and rarely misplace any so that they are paid late but for other stuff, I can miss out.

This is like having a huge junk drawer-everything is thrown in there to get it out of the way. People seldom sort it out. Or at least most hoarders seldom do. So now, I’ve been trying to sort through my paper and it’s a huge task.

And because I’m such a green person, I’ve been trying to put it all into the right recycling piles, too. I have already accumulated 3 big bags which I can get rid of. But I still have more to go.

Another Bank Visit

I had to go out today to visit another bank. I opened a credit card at a gas station one day. It lured me in by a promise of air miles. I signed up, fully expecting them to reject me since I’m not even working full-time but for some odd reason, they sent me a card.

I had to make a purchase and then they granted me the bonus air miles. Now, I had to make a payment. I tried to make the payment via my online banking but for some reason, I wasn’t able to do so. I tried calling my bank for assistance but the banker was not able to figure it out either.

So I went to visit the bank where the card is issued yesterday, but it was closed by the time I got there. I was really annoyed because that means my payment will be late. I hate it when payments are late, even one day.

I went to the closest branch a few blocks away. It was a pleasant walk. I had never been to this bank before and it was really modern. I got a friendly chatty teller who processed the payment quickly. I expressed concern over it being a day late and he said to not worry, the interest might be pennies.

Retail Blog

I managed to work on my retail blog today for a while. I had intended on working on my paper problem only but I needed a break, to do something different. I still haven’t forgotten about my plan to get my online retail store ready by the fall either.

When I made that plan in my head, it seemed like fall was such a long time away. But here it is, almost August. I don’t have much time at all. I’m going to give myself only a short time more to work on getting rid of my paper and then I’ll have to move on and concentrate on my online retail store.

Day Seven Hundred and Eighty Seven of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Dealing with Paper Today

I decided to devote this day entirely to paper. Today, I wanted to clear away as much of the paper I have hoarded over the years. That included old newspapers, magazines, bills, receipts, statements, etc. Well, the newspapers weren’t that old but the bills, receipts, statements, etc are old.

While I was organizing, I found issues that I had to deal with my bank accounts. I called one bank and had a difficult time with them. They weren’t able to answer the two questions that I had. It was quite frustrating. The last time I talked to them, I got a rock star employee who was able to do everything. Talking to the person today, was a big waste of time.

I was getting quite irritated with her manner, too. She kept saying my name. I think she must have said my name over fifteen times during our conversation. I know that some telemarketers are told to say a person’s name but she really over did it! It bugs me that a person like this has a full-time job and I do not.

I gave up and realized that I would have to physically go to my bank in order to get questions answered. I tried to look for my banker’s email or phone number but couldn’t find it. I’d have to do a drop by and hope he was there.

Afternoon Run

Although it was sunny and hot, I decided to do a short run. Now that I’m not ‘officially’ training for any race for the moment, I found that I was able to relax more. I tried to run wherever there was any shade so it wasn’t so hot.

I thought that I was the only crazy person running at the hottest point, mid-day, but I did see a couple of other runners. We sort of grinned at each other as we passed each other. We probably both agreed that it was a crazy time to run.

Despite the heat, I managed to run at a pretty good pace. By the time I got to the clinic, I was pretty sweaty and hot. I appreciated the air conditioning in the room and cooled down quickly.

Blood Donation

I made an appointment to donate blood this afternoon. There have been lots of media about how they are short of blood because of summer so I thought that it’d be fast to get through. It was quite busy and it took me a while longer to get through.

The nurse who set me up saw my marathon shirt and we started talking about running. She is running her first half-marathon this fall. She said that she was hoping that it wouldn’t be raining but since it is late October, I said that she may be disappointed.

After the donation, I was told not to over-exert myself. I’ve done a slow jog home after donating before, but since it was so hot and I was tired, I decided not to chance it and walked home.

Computer Search On

This weekend, I got two sales flyers for back to school sales. I was quite happy to see that there were laptops on sale finally! I dropped by Future Shop to check out what was on sale. It wasn’t busy and a clerk approached me.

He explained that they had a policy that guaranteed the lowest price. If a competitor had a lower price, they would match it. They also said that if it went lower at the store, I could get a price adjustment. I did see one that I was interested in but I still couldn’t buy it. He said that there were quite a few so I didn’t feel pressure. I’m going to google this laptop first before I get it. I’ll be so happy if I can get rid of my crappy laptop soon!


Day Seven Hundred and Eighty Six of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Early Morning Run Downtown

I got up early this morning to run downtown to my weekly free yoga class. I am back to running normally, that is, without thinking of doing any training, with a particular race in mind. I am relieved that my trail race was completed yesterday. Now, I’m just running as a mode of transportation and for the sheer fun of it.

It was a sunny morning and the temperature was already starting to climb. I wasn’t at all tired from yesterday’s short trail race. I did a nice pace, not too fast but not too slow either. I nodded a hello at runners that I passed on the bridge. I felt good.

Free Yoga Class from Lululemon

I missed last Sunday’s class because I had volunteered at a cycling Gran Fondo race. It seems like I have been missing every second Sunday yoga class for some race or another. I had a chat with some friends before class. Now they are runners who should have been in yesterday’s trail race-they run the Grouse Grind trail run every Sunday after our yoga class.

I managed to do okay with today’s yoga class. I was quite hot from my run here and it took me a while to cool down a bit. There was another new instructor and she was a little different from others.

I am a person who does not have to see a yoga pose before I do it. If the instructor says to lift your right leg, I just automatically lift it once I hear the instructions. But for some reason, this instructor had some kind of dyslexia because she kept calling out the wrong directions. People would be exchanging glances to see what everybody else was doing.

One of my yoga friends is like that. If I tell her to turn right, she has to actually see my right hand pointing to the right. She can’t just see it in her mind.

Mystery Shop

I made my way across the bridge to do my mystery shop today. I did one a few days ago. This time I was taking another friend for lunch. I got there on time but my friend was late so I had to go ahead and start the visit without her. She had trouble finding parking.

Now that this is my third shop with this company, I am getting more used to the questions that I have to answer and remember. I think the last time, I was a little more subjective when I really should be more objective in my reporting.

The restaurant was not at all busy so our service was fast. I still had to concentrate though on taking note of the times of items. My friend was in a bit of a chatty mood and it was distracting me. She was thinking this more of a restaurant review rather than a service evaluation report.

We did have a good lunch. I was glad that the service was so good because I don’t like to have to write bad criticism. Luckily, the service at this restaurant has been pretty good for the three visits I’ve made. This mystery shop gig doesn’t pay but at least I can enjoy a good meal that I wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford.


Day Seven Hundred and Eighty Five of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Early Morning Drive to the Mountains

I woke up early for my very first trail race today. I have been anticipating this race for months now. I won this race entry in January so it’s been in the back of my mind for six months, all the time while I trained for the full marathon in May and then for the half-marathon in June. Now it’s finally arrived.

I got up early enough and went through my race morning rituals. I ate my bagel, banana and checked all my gear I was going to take with me. Although I’ve been to this mountain before, it’s been 4 years (I was there for the 2010 Winter Olympics) so I googled the directions again.

The traffic wasn’t too busy and I got to the foot of the mountain fairly quickly. But, I underestimated how long it takes to drive up a winding mountain road! I still needed to pick up my race packet so I was getting a little anxious! I got there just ten minutes before it closed! I now had time to go to the restroom, put away things in my car and watch the longer race runners start.

Perfect Weather for a Trail Race

I thought that it might be a little too hot to run today but hiding inside the trail meant that I would stay cool. The first part of the run was steep. I was dripping sweat and wondering if this was such a good idea after all.

It finally started to level out a bit so that I could run as opposed to walk and wheeze. I started to enjoy the breathtaking scenery as well. I mean, I do see the ocean and mountains everyday in the city, but not usually from a trail from a mountain. I started to take some photos, as I usually do in a race.

I also started chatting with another runner. It turns out that she works for a running store. I wondered what it must be like to work in retail. I did when I was in high school and university. I saw a job listing tweet the other day from another running store and it made me think.

This was a short race, only 6 KM. Before long, I was coming round the final bend and heading for the finish line. I had finally finished. I didn’t feel that tired at all. I sort of regretted not opting for the longer race.

I cheered on the remaining runners and even watched the medal presentations. I also got to chat with the staff from the charity that I had run with in the half-marathon last month. This race was a really fun environment and I was glad that I won the entry. Another trail race was announced for September and I wondered if I would dare try to run again.

Long Drive Home

By the time I started to drive home, I was tired. I wasn’t physically tired from the race, just tired being out in the sun for the post race activities. For some reason, there was a lot more traffic on the road as I drove down the mountain. And there were a lot more cyclists. I really had to concentrate that I didn’t hit any of them on the single lane roads. I was glad to get home. I felt even happier and relieved to be finished this race and knowing that I won’t be running in a race until the end of October.

Mystery Shop Prep

I took it easy for the rest of the day. I did have to do some preparation for my mystery shop tomorrow. I had just done one a couple of days ago, so I remember most of what I need to remember, fresh in my mind. I should be getting my check for my first shop in the mail soon. I’m looking forward to an easy shop tomorrow.

Day Seven Hundred and Eighty Four of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Short Run

I managed to have a good night’s sleep last night. It hasn’t been overly hot in my apartment so I didn’t get up in the middle of the night. I have one more day before my very first trail race. I pondered whether or not I should bother running today or not or if I should just take a rest.

I decided to do a very short run. I ran over 15 miles yesterday so I don’t feel too guilty about slacking off. This is going to be a short race tomorrow, so I don’t feel the need to do a proper taper like I would if it were a half-marathon or a marathon. I took it easy and barely worked up a sweat.

Mystery Shop Report Criticism

I had gone on a mystery shop last night and completed the report before I went to bed. I thought that I had done a thorough job and was proud of myself. I was surprised to see an email from the editor about a number of points.

One of my flaws is that I am not good at accepting criticism. Since I lost my job over two years ago, I haven’t had much opportunity to be in a situation where I would get evaluated or criticized. My first report I had done for this company was accepted, no problem, but this one had a few comments.

I got quite offended and even angry. I had to leave my computer and calm down before replying to the email because I was initially being quite sarcastic and defensive. I even emailed my friend who has done a number of shops for the same company and asked if he had ever got any criticism  like this. He said that it was no big deal, some editors are more picky than others.

I grit my teeth and responded to her questions and comments. I still think that they are not warranted but just let it go. If I want to keep doing this, I have to expect this feedback and do it the way they want it to be.

Free Beach Yoga Class

After the stress of that report criticism, I needed to relax. I just found out about another free yoga class that is three times a week. My friend had said she was going to go, so I walked the few blocks down to it.

It was on the beach and it was nice to do yoga with the view of the mountains and the ocean in front of us. It was early enough so that there was still a lot of beach traffic. I managed to relax a little. I was glad that I came.

Night Before Race Preparation

I wanted to prepare ahead of tomorrow’s race. I have never done a trail race before though I suspect that it will be similar to the many races I have done. I packed my small backpack with a water bottle, camera and some energy bars. Since it’s such a short race I don’t really need to pack any food but I had visions of falling down a cliff and being stranded for days.

I’m a little relieved to be finishing this race tomorrow. I feel as if I’ve been training since January, at different levels, but still, constantly. First, it was for the full marathon and then the half-marathon and now this trail race. I need a rest.

My next race isn’t until the end of October, so I think I’m going to get out of training mode and do what I like the best, just run for the sheer pleasure of it. I haven’t done a long Sunday run since the marathon. I’m looking forward to doing that.

Day Seven Hundred and Eighty Three of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Early Run to UBC

I woke up early this morning to run to my weekly volunteer gig at UBC. Although the rain is supposed to have stopped by today, it still looked rainy. I wore rain running pants and a water proof jacket. It was cool enough so that when I breathed I could see my breath.

I ran an easy pace. Although I was running late, I didn’t feel compelled to run faster. I just took it easy and got to UBC late. I was hot and a little sweaty though so at least I got some work out.

Brief Trail Run on the Way Back

There are only a couple of days left before my first (and probably last) trail race. I wore my old trail running shoes today so that I could ‘test’ them in the trails. I had bought these second-hand years ago when I thought I might take up trail running. I felt sluggish wearing them on the way to UBC and I wondered if I am only supposed to use them on the trails.

By the time I entered the trail area, it had stopped raining. The trail was damp but not enough to affect my running. I was still a little wary about the isolation of this trail. Before long, I encountered a family cycling and then an old lady walking her dog. I felt relieved.

I was glad that my trail race is this weekend. I doubt that I will do another since I found it difficult to train easily for it. I just felt too uncomfortable running in the trails alone. Perhaps if I found others to run with I might but it’s hard enough for me to find people just to run regular roads.

Ran Downtown

I was a little tired after my run so I rested in the afternoon. I knew that I would be running downtown a short time later. I had probably run around 12 miles already this morning. I don’t want to get too tired ahead of Saturday’s race either. I ran downtown at a nice easy pace.

Mystery Shop

I was scheduled to do my second mystery shop tonight. I did the first shop solo but this time, I was having a friend accompany me. It’s been a while since I did the last shop so I reviewed all of the guidelines and questions before we entered.

I had a better experience evaluating this restaurant. It was also nice to have a friend along so I could enjoy the meal more. The service was also better than the first time. We finished in around two hours.

I considered running home but decided that my total 15 mile tally today was good enough. I was too full anyway so I just walked briskly home. I was tired when I got home but knew that I had to do the write-up for my mystery shop report.

I had made all of my notes as soon as I left the restaurant. I even called my friend once I got home to confirm my memory on a couple of points. I managed to do this report a little faster than the first time. I suspect that it’ll get easier as I do more of them. So far so good.

Day Seven Hundred and Eighty Two of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Early Run Downtown

I got up early this morning and was a little dismayed to see that it was overcast. I wasn’t sure what I should wear. If it was going to rain, I’d have to wear different clothing than if it was sunny all day. The weather forecast was for rain all day but I was trying to be optimistic.

It was a short run across the bridge to my doctor’s office. Although I hadn’t run very fast, I was quite sweaty by the time I got there. It could be because I had lots of layers in case it started to rain later.

Doctor’s Appointment 

My doctor’s office had called me to make an appointment. It’s been two years since my last pap test and mini check-up. I’m glad that they keep track of when I need to go, because I don’t. I usually only go whenever I need to. I’ve been her patient for several years so she knows me well so she can look at the long term picture.

I’ve been having some issues that have concerned me but after time on google, I usually put it in the back of my mind. I mentioned it to my doctor and I expected her to act similarly blase about it. This time though, she did seem concerned.

She said that she thought we should err on the safe side and order some follow up tests. She wrote a referral to a gastroenterologist. Unfortunately, she’s not sure how long it might take before I get an appointment. That worries me. That’s not a good sign if she insists on getting tested. I’m already stressed and now this will add to it.

Free Yoga Class Cancelled

I went to the library to do a little job search research. As soon as I left the library, it started to rain. I ran to the free yoga class venue and there was nobody there except a cancellation sign and two staff. By this time, it was pouring out. My friend arrived and we both got yoga class passes. I was disappointed because it’s been two weeks since my last class.

Ran into TV Commercial

My friend and I decided to get out of the rain and get a drink. On the way to the mall, I literally ran into the TV commercial I had been submitted for but had been rejected. This was for a fast food place that I go to all the time.

I think that I would be the perfect spokesperson for this place because I actually eat the food! But today was yet another time I have been rejected. I took some photos and one of the crew saw me and made motions for me to go away. I guess I was getting a bit of a perverse pleasure in interfering with their shoot because they keep rejecting me!

Union Meeting

Tonight was my actor’s union annual meeting. Although I go to regular meetings, this one is the largest of the year. I was looking forward to seeing friends that I hadn’t seen for a while.   Before we could socialize however, we did have to tend to business.

There has been a particular issue that has played out in the media that has affected us and it was discussed during the meeting. That was the only thing I was really interested in. Everything else was stuff that had been covered in other meetings. This issue could affect our livelihoods so is important.

Once the business was over, we had drinks and food. It was nice to chat with people who I’ve known from the business over the years but haven’t seen for a while. The general consensus is optimistic that business is picking up, so that made me happy.