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

Early Morning Run

It was another beautiful sunny day this morning. I’ve had to miss the last two weeks of yoga class. I was really looking forward to this class. I worked last Sunday on that TV commercial and then was volunteering the Sunday before that.

I was able to run at a fast pace. I felt really happy. There were a lot of other runners doing the same thing. I probably passed more than 16 runners along the way downtown. I was pretty sweaty by the time I got to the store.

Free Yoga Class at Lululemon

I was happy to get back into yoga today. I’ve taken a few classes from this instructor before and I really enjoy his style. It was good to see some of my yoga buddies. I was surprised that the class wasn’t full though.

Since I hadn’t done any yoga for a while, I was a little worried that I might have trouble doing the class but I was fine. I was able to do the poses just as I usually do, not that well! lol I thought that I might have trouble with my knee since I had experienced some tightness a few days ago, but I was okay.

DTES Flea Market

I went to the downtown eastside flea market this morning. I didn’t intend on buying anything really. There won’t be many more times in sunny weather before the rainy weather starts so I decided to take advantage of it.

I saw a bunch of memory cards on a table. They were in their original packaging. I asked how much a 64 GB card and he said $20. At first I walked away but then I went back. If I were to buy it in a regular store, it would cost me far more than $20! I changed my mind and went ahead and bought it.

Free Science World Day

I had made plans to do a long run today but then I remembered that Science World was having a free day. Regular admission is $22. I can’t afford to pay that kind of admission so I waited in long and endured all of the screaming kids.

Ran Home

I ran the seawall home. I don’t usually do this side of the seawall. It’s been quite a long time since I’ve run it. It was busy with runners, walkers and cyclists. I was really enjoying this run. It’s less than a month before I do another seawall, the Rock n Roll Half Marathon route. I suspect that next month, we’ll have rainy weather though.

Online Retail Research

I continued my research for my online retail store tonight. I forced myself to stay chained to my laptop while I looked things up. It’s quite time-consuming but necessary. It was a lot easier to do when I started fifteen years ago. There’s so much more information now.

Etsy versus eBay

I researched the Etsy site. I’ve heard a lot about that site but I’ve never been one for crafts or hand-made things. They do have a vintage section that I would be interested in. I have a number of vintage items that I want to sell and I wonder if Etsy would be a better venue for that kind of thing.

Updating Paypal

I checked on my US paypal account. I was a little paranoid about security since it’s been a really long time since I’ve changed the password or other financial data. I need to get this all updated before I can start my online store.

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

Early Morning Rummage Sale

It was a nice sunny morning. The weekend was supposed to be sunny and warm. I was looking forward to this. This might be the last opportunity we have before the rain starts in.

My friend picked me up and we went to a church rummage sale. We went there last week but got the days mixed up. It’s a popular sale and we come together every year. With my hoarding tendencies, it’s probably not the best place for me to go, but I was able to rein in my buying. I did find a couple of things for my retail blog, so I was happy about that.

Vancouver Public Library Book Signing

One of my 1970s icons was coming to the library for a book signing. I was quite excited about this. I was taken to his concert by my Uncle in 1975 and it was quite an experience. Now, he has written a book and is in town for an appearance.

I was never a big library person until the last year or so. Who would have thought that there would be appearances by famous people, too? In the past, I’ve only gone out and bought books or DVDs I had wanted. Since losing my job, that’s definitely been something that I can’t afford to do, buy books and DVDs. Now, I will allow myself to buy used stuff, but not new. That being said, I did allow myself to buy the new book because it would be signed by my past idol.

Mystery Shop

I had another mystery shop tonight. This time it was for dinner in West Vancouver. I decided to ask a friend who had just gotten her first actor role. I would treat her to celebrate. She’s been trying to get her first acting credit for a long time.

She has worked as a mystery shopper before, so I didn’t need to explain much to her. She told me about her experience as a mystery retail shopper and how she had quit because there were IT issues. She had to do a long report and then it would disappear before it could be saved. After that happened three times, she gave up.

The dinner started out well but then the demographic changed from seniors to 20 to 30 somethings and blasting music. We could barely hear over the music. It was packed to capacity. I don’t often do shops on a Saturday night.

Employment Advice

My friend and I discussed this firm that she has connections at. She’s been trying to get me to apply there. She said that I’d be a good fit there and I agree with her. However, I’ve tried twice and didn’t even get a single interview.

I have absolutely all of the qualifications for this job and was surprised that I didn’t even get a call. I did try a second time and again, didn’t get a response. She urged me to apply a third time but I’ve delayed that wondering if I should even bother.

Now tonight, she said that she realized what the problem could be. She said that she suspected that I didn’t get a call because of my age. She knows that the last people who have been hired have been quite young, in their 20s or 30s.

That was discouraging to hear. When I had attended the firm’s AGM a year ago, I had talked to one of the advisors and they said that age was not an issue. It appears that the tide has changed and the firm has joined all the other firms who discriminate against older workers. She said to apply again but don’t get my hopes up. That was sad to hear.

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


I had picked up three cheques from my agent two days ago and promptly forgot to actually deposit them into my bank. It’s been so long since I’ve had any money going into my bank account that I just forgot to do it. That’s sad.

Running in the Pouring Rain

When I set out to run to the bank, it was pouring rain. I had hoped that we would have a dry week but it’s been raining here and there. My Dad in Winnipeg, who has had a bad summer weather-wise, is experiencing high temperatures and sunny skies. I guess I can’t complain too much about the rain because we’ve had a pretty good summer.

Although it was only a short distance, I had a difficult time getting going. My legs felt quite heavy and the prospect of running even one mile seemed daunting. It had only been a couple of days since I ran so I’m not sure why I felt this way.

The Rock N Roll Half Marathon is only a short month away. The way I’m running today, I wonder if I’ll finish it in three hours! I do end up getting better and running at my usual pace. I have no idea why I was so sluggish when I started today though.

Ran Downtown

Later in the afternoon, I ran downtown. The weather was still overcast but the rain had let up a bit. I managed to run at a good pace across the bridge. There weren’t too many pedestrians on the bridge, so I felt like I could really go all out.

I felt like I had redeemed myself from my earlier old-lady-pace run from the morning. I did feel a little anxious though, because my left knee felt a little shaky. My knees seldom give me any problems when I run, so I tried to think of when I could have injured my knee. I finished okay, but did feel odd.

Culture Days Ballet BC

I went to see a free choreography session at the Ballet BC dance studio. Culture Days are here and there are a number of free events all over the country. I have loved ballet since I was a kid but don’t really have the opportunity to see it much, especially since becoming unemployed.

So here I was, able to sit on the sidelines and watch the process of how a performance piece is choreographed. I was thrilled! There weren’t that many people watching, so I felt extra special. I was glad that I had come. There will be another free performance at the airport next month, too.

Vancouver Film Festival Screening, October Gale

I had won another pair of tickets to the opening screening of a Canadian film tonight. I was a little anxious because I did not get the details until this morning. I managed to find somebody to go with me, my old co-worker.

This old co-worker is somebody I had worked with over fifteen years ago. She is also in her fifties and unemployed. She also returned to school, hoping to have a new career, but has not been successful.

The last time we met was a few weeks ago for another free movie screening. Not much has changed, she is still looking for full-time work and is still taking temp positions to make ends meet. She still has optimism though, even though it’s been a difficult time since she graduated from her legal assistants’ program last year.

I’m glad that I can share free movie screenings with her since she is in the same financial situation. The movie had amazing acting in it and the cinematography was beautiful. I’m really glad that I won my second screening to the festival tonight.

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

Late Night Doing Mystery Shop Report

I had spent last night finishing off my mystery shop report. I have to complete the online report within twelve hours of the restaurant visit. I don’t know why, but I procrastinated until the last-minute.

I really wanted to do a good job of this report so that I wouldn’t get any criticism from the editors. I was literally burning the midnight oil. It was almost 2 AM by the time I finished it. I was able to sleep in this morning so that was good.

Volunteer for Race

I had signed up to volunteer for a night race. I have volunteered for that race before. Part of me thought that I didn’t have time to do it but I had a really good experience with it last year. I rushed over to the store where they would have package pick up after lunch.

I was ten minutes late. The person who I guessed was the volunteer supervisor gave me a dirty look and told me to put my bag in the back. Hmmm. What a welcome. So I went to where the other volunteers were.

It wasn’t too busy at that time. I like to volunteer for races because I usually get to meet my fellow runners, either those picking up their race packets or other volunteers who are runners. But today, when I tried to strike up a conversation with the other volunteers, I got nothing. With the exception of one volunteer who left shortly after I got there, I was ignored. It was so weird. Then, I noticed that there were other volunteers who were acting all palsy-walsy with each other but not once did they make me feel welcome. It was like a high school clique.

I just concentrated on doing the job. The one volunteer was not friendly to me at all and just told me what to do, and not in a nice way. Then she looked at me and apparently she was not happy with the expression on my face. She asked me if I had a problem with something. Geez. She asked me if there was something she had done to offend me. Really? I said that I was just tired.

At that time I wondered why I bothered to volunteer. At that time I made up my mind not to volunteer for this race again. It might have been some odd coincidence that I was being ignored and treated like this, I don’t know. But I can think of better ways to use my time.

Vancouver Film Festival Opening Screening and Gala

I rushed back downtown to meet up with my friend for the opening screening and gala of the Vancouver Film Festival. I had won these tickets from my actor’s union. It would include the screening of the opening festival film, Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon and then a reception at a nearby club.

Because it was the opening film of the whole festival, it was packed and also had a number of dignitaries, including the mayor, who made speeches. They also awarded a BC award to a prominent film person who had founded the festival and owned a number of cinemas.

The movie itself was okay. I had different expectations because I had read the book that it was based on. They are predicting an Oscar for Reese Witherspoon but I don’t know. After the movie, we rushed to the club where they were having the reception. We were greeted with glasses of champagne.

We spent the next while eating and drinking. My friend’s husband was waiting outside so we didn’t linger. We took some photos by the red carpet area and then left. I was grateful that I had won tickets to this event because I surely couldn’t afford it.

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

Dropped Off Charity Donations

I got up early to gather up some more things to donate to a homeless shelter in the downtown east side. I had told my friend about this place so she, who is moving this week, asked me to go along with her. I sent her a list of the desired items that was on the website. She had a 3 garbage bags and a box, which was great! This time I only had a box and one garbage bag full.

The lane beside the shelter was closed so we weren’t able to park beside it to unload. She had to park in the alley while I ran in with the first load. She saw a man who was soaked in his jacket so she waved him over. She had some jackets but he didn’t like any of them. We were both a little surprised that he’d rather be wet than wear a jacket he didn’t quite like but that’s his decision.

She finally convinced him to take an expensive long coat from Australia. It’s really good for wet weather. I would have taken it myself but he finally accepted it. Another man, his friend, came over but he, too, did not like anything.

I took up the first load to the reception. In the past, it’s been a mixed reaction. Sometimes, they barely look up and just take everything with a brief thanks. This time, they were more grateful for everything that we brought. We really made an effort to bring them only things that they had listed.

When I went outside to get the second load, my friend was with a homeless woman who was happily getting loaded up. She was getting a pack of new socks, toiletries, bag of jewelry and lots of clothing. She said that it was just like xmas! She was very grateful to my friend. We were glad that we made somebody happy today.

Picked Up Film Festival Gala Tickets

My friend dropped me off at my actor’s union office. I had won a pair of tickets to the Vancouver Film Festival Opening Screening and Gala. I was really glad to get these tickets!

I only go to movies when I can get free tickets. In my financial situation, I can’t justify spending money on tickets unless there are special circumstances. Luckily, I do get a lot of free movie passes from contests and friends. This particular contest win was a real treat since it includes a gala after.

Picked Up Cheques from Agency

I dropped by my extras agency to pick up some cheques. I only had three but some have been there for a while so it might as well be in my bank account. They weren’t too busy so I felt better that I haven’t been getting called that much. I start to feel paranoid when its busy and others are working and my phone is quiet.

Mystery Shop

I met up with my friend at our agent’s building. We drove to the restaurant. I purposely picked a mystery shop in her area this time. We went to another one a few weeks ago so she knows the drill. It’ll be good to catch up and have the lunch at a nice restaurant.

It was quite busy at this restaurant. Despite the lunch rush, we still got really excellent service. I was glad to come out this far to this restaurant because it was convenient for my friend and because I was offered a bit of an added incentive. It took me a while to get back home going on the train and bus but I’m still happy that I went.

Union Meeting

I wasn’t planning to go to the actor’s union meeting tonight, but I decided a while ago that if I wasn’t working, I would make every effort to go so that I could be informed about my union and work issues. I got there early because there was a special presentation I wanted to hear.

I was happy to also be given a ticket to the Vancouver Film Festival, too! This one was for the closing night. After I got that, I was really glad that I had decided to come. That makes one more screening I will get to see.

The person doing the short 30 minute financial presentation was not good. For the first 20 minutes of his presentation he glossed over broad financial terms. The message was, start investing for your future. Nothing said was specific to actors, who have very specific needs when financial planning.

Since I was in the investment industry for many years, I’m very critical of financial presentations. I hate it when they are theoretical and not at all practical. What a waste of time. I can’t believe that the union approved this.

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

Early Morning Run

I woke up early and saw that it was overcast and forecast for rain. I reluctantly got my rain gear out in anticipation of a rainy run today. I found my rain pants, cap and jacket. I also pulled out a pair of gloves, too.

The route was more crowded this morning since the teacher’s strike is over and the public school kids are back in school. Today is the first day of fall and now, with the kids back, it really seems like summer is over.

As I ran by the golf course, it looked like today’s rainy weather scared off the golfers. There are more leaves that have fallen but the grounds are still lushly green. I ran at a faster pace today and I got there faster than I expected.

UBC Volunteer

I changed the day that I usually volunteer so that I could be there for the volunteer appreciation lunch later today. By the time I got there, I was soaked. Despite my wearing rain gear, it didn’t seem to protect me much from the rain. I started to feel the familiar wet running shoes and socks. I didn’t like it.

It was a little uncomfortable today because I was a little chilled. I really want to make sure that I don’t catch any cold as the season changes. That’s the last thing that I need, is to pick up a virus.

Volunteer Appreciation Lunch

I had missed the last volunteer appreciation activity so I made an effort to go to this lunch. This time, volunteers were joined by staff and students, too. The lunch was catered by my favorite barbecue restaurant so I was thrilled.

Job Fair

I went to a job fair on the way out. There were a couple of people ahead of me talking with the recruiters. I waited patiently and listened to what they were saying to these other possible recruits. They seemed a little bored actually.

I asked them for details about the positions that they were recruiting for. This was the same position that my friend was just hired for. I had provided a job reference for her. Now, my other friend is interested.

I had sent my friend the details of this job fair but I wasn’t sure if she made it here. I got the details for her in mind though I have to admit that I was curious about the position as well. This would be answering calls, emails and doing chats with customers. This is maybe something for me to consider in the future.

Gathering Up Charity Donations

Tomorrow I will be going with a friend to drop off some charity donations. My friend is moving, downsizing from a 5000 square foot house to a condo, so she is eager to drop off these donations. I have had some stuff set aside so I can add to it.

Of course I have a lot to go through of my stuff, but for now, I can gather up enough stuff to take with me tomorrow. Now that it’s getting into the rainy weather, I want to try to find clothing to help the homeless. I hope I can find more stuff.


Day Eight Hundred and Forty Three of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Cross Border Banking

I got a letter from my US bank saying that they were going to close my account because of new anti-terrorism rules. I have had a bank account with them for almost fifteen years. I was told that I could open a new account that wouldn’t cost as much. So I closed my old account.

Then, the letter said that I could not have this account without a social security number. Since I don’t live or work in the US, I don’t have one. They said that they would close this new account and mail me a check of my money.

So I knew that I’d have to call the branch and ask them what was going on. If I had known that they would close my new account, I certainly wouldn’t have closed my old account! I was upset and I didn’t want to have to waste my time dealing with this.

I talked to somebody and then was transferred to the manager who had actually opened my new account. He told me that I could ignore the letter that said that they were closing my account. But…I could no longer do online banking nor would I get paper statements. So I asked him how I could keep track of my account?

He said that I could get a balance update at the ATM or keep a record in a book or I could go to the branch and ask them for an update. I could get my online banking back if I go to the Social Security Office and get a tax number. What a hassle…but I need to get this all straightened before I can proceed with my online retail business.

Retail Blog Research

I managed to do some research on my retail blog and eBay today. It’s been quite a long time since I sold on eBay. I dreaded going to the site to see how much it would cost to sell and how difficult it would be set up an online store.

I was happy to see that the fees seem to be lower but I am suspicious. Why would be lower than when I sold years ago? Am I missing something? There is so much research I still need to do.

I have given myself an October 1st deadline. I have no excuses. I have one more week and I really want to have some semblance of an online store ready. I have to really focus this week.

Ran Downtown

I hadn’t run on the weekend so I was chomping at the bit to run downtown. When I set off, it was overcast but not too cold. I managed to run at a fairly good pace. By the time I was at the end of the bridge, I had worked up a good sweat.

I have to keep up all the running that I can. The Rock n Roll Half Marathon is coming up next month. I really would like to have a decent time even though I’ll be dressed up in a wig and tutu. I wonder if I should practice with this costume?!

Short Film and Documentary Screening

I don’t remember how I got the invite but a while ago I signed up for a free ticket to a short film and documentary screening. I was tempted to cancel and stay home but I forced myself to come downtown. When I got to the venue, there was a long line-up. I waited in line but as I waited longer and longer, I was tempted to leave and just go home.

After waiting almost 45 minutes, I finally got in. I didn’t see anybody that I knew. I just sat down and waited for it to start. I have gone to similar screenings and I was a little worried that the films wouldn’t be that good.

I was happy that most of the films were quite good. A few of the films were supported by my actor’s union, too. One of the films starred somebody that I’ve worked with several times, so it was nice to see him in it! There were a couple of films that were pretty bad but they weren’t too long. I was glad that I came.