Day Seven Hundred and Eighty of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Still Depressed and Angry

I managed to get a decent sleep because it was still fairly cool but then as soon as I remembered about the speeding ticket I got yesterday I became depressed and angry again. I kept saying a mantra of, why me, why me, why me, in my head all the time. Then I started to feel sad. I can’t afford this in my unemployed state that’s for sure.

More Donuts

I had bought a dozen donuts yesterday and ate four of them. I knew that I would eat more today. And yes, they did give me some comfort. I polished off another four today. They were a little dry but still tasted good to me in my mood.

I have a lot of leftovers in my fridge so I spent the rest of the day finishing those off as well. I have this voracious appetite lately and it’s not for good clean eating. I can feel my clothes getting tighter, too. I haven’t been running as much as I usually do. That is probably making the difference.

Google Speeding Ticket Disputes

I spent time googling how to dispute my speeding ticket. My friend who had been with me when I got the ticket told me that her husband gets them all the time. She said that there was a ridiculously long time before I would get a court date, like two years.

As I read different posts, it looked like anecdotally speaking, they say that there’s a chance that the officer will not show up to court and then the ticket will get dismissed. However, I read on official websites that an officer can testify by phone or even video which surprised me.

I think my best chance is to dispute the ticket and hope that by the time I go to court, I will be a little more financially secure in case I do have to pay the full amount. I will hope he doesn’t show up or that I can bargain with him before we appear before the judge hoping that he’ll reduce the amount. In any case, it’s a chance I’ll take.

Short Run to Theater

My trail race is this weekend. I have an old pair of trail running shoes that I put on to do a short run to the movie theater. I would be running through a community garden area that would be a bit of a test for them.

My legs felt quite heavy as I ran the short distance. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t run in a few days or if it’s the trail running shoes I need to get used to. I’ll try to wear them this week and hopefully they’ll be okay for the race.

Free Movie Screening

I met up with a friend to see the movie preview of I Origin. It was a sci-fi kind of movie and I really didn’t like it. I kept looking at my watch wondering when it would be over. I felt a little badly because my friend didn’t like it either.

Oh well, it was free. You never know what it will be. I did get a chance to catch up with my friend so that’s good at least.


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

Early Morning

I had another good sleep last night because it was cooler. I set two alarms to make sure that I would wake up early because I was picking up two friends to go volunteer at a bicycle gran fondo race. It was an hour or more drive away.

Unfamiliar Drive To Volunteer

I had never volunteered for this race before but decided to do so because it sounded like a lot of fun and a friend was participating in it. I persuaded my other two friends to volunteer for it as well. I would pick them up at a train station and then we’d all go together.

I had written down the instructions to get there. I work in the area all the time (that area gives a tax incentive to film there) and hate it because I get lost all the time with those country roads. The new bridge charges a toll so I drove a different route where I wouldn’t have to pay the toll.

So I’m driving across the bridge and going down hill. I saw a sign that said that it was only 50 KM which surprised me since most bridges here have a higher speed limit. There was a radar speed trap and I got pulled over. I was in shock. I didn’t think that I was going over the speed limit.

I am a super conservative driver. I’m usually the only car that is doing the speed limit on the highways. The one and only time that I ever got a speeding ticket was when I had just gotten my driver’s licence, 35 years ago. Back then, I was ten KM over and had to pay a $18 which at the time, I thought was outrageous. Since then, I’ve always been a very careful driver.

When I got the ticket, it said that it would cost $196! I felt sick. Here I was, driving to volunteer way out of my way and now, in addition to the gas, I’d have to pay almost $200! I haven’t even had a parking ticket in over twenty years.

Reminders of Firms Past

We got to the race course and started to volunteer. I was in a daze all day because all I could think about was that speeding ticket and how I couldn’t afford it. Then, I started to feel angry thinking about it. I wondered why the person in front of me who was driving just as fast, did not get pulled over.

Here I was, trying to have a good time and enjoy the race but I was too distracted about the ticket and how I’d have to pay for it. In addition, it was cold out and I was miserable because I hadn’t worn enough clothing since it’s been so warm lately.

I started to see reminders of firms that I used to work for and that pissed me off, too. All these names and here I am, not working at any of them any more. One of the things that you lose when you lose a job is not only the ability to earn income, but also your identity with your firm. I always worked for high-profile financial firms that made me proud to say where I worked. And now, I’m a long-term unemployed loser.

Donut Binge

I was relieved when my friend rolled in seven hours later and finished the race so we could go home. We sat down and socialized a bit before heading back home. I was a little concerned about finding my way home so I was going to follow my friend.

He was a fast driver. I lost him because I refused to go above the speed limit. He waited and then I tried to follow again but again lost him. I got lost again and had to stop and ask for directions. I was agitated because all I wanted to do was get home.

Much later, I found my way and dropped off my friends. I was really angry still and depressed so I stopped in to this donut shop and ordered a dozen. I knew that fat and sugar would not be good for me, but I felt the need to do some emotional eating because of this day. Once I got home, I did feel better eating these sugary greasy donuts but could not shake this doomed depressed feeling.

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

Cooler Night, Good Sleep

It was a cooler night last night, so I managed to have a decent sleep. I didn’t toss and turn as I usually do lately because of the heat. It even rained over night. I felt better when I woke up this morning.

Job Application Considered Yet Again

I have been trying to summon up the courage to re-apply to a firm that I have already applied to two times. I didn’t get a reply either time even though I was convinced that I was the ideal candidate for the job. My friend has been after me to apply a final third time. She is convinced that I would be ideal for that job even if I am not so convinced myself.

The first time I applied, I sent it to the general email address that they specified in their website. No reply. The second time that I sent it, I had found out the person who does the hiring, a VP, and addressed it to him personally and hand delivered it. No reply.

Now, I wonder who I should address the resume to. I wonder if I should even make reference to this being my third application? Or if I should just go through the regular channels again. Or if I should send it to them both?

My friend made me promise that I would try it one more time. She says third time’s the charm. Me, I’m not so sure. But if I do send it this third time, I have to do it soon.

Reunion after 18 Years

I went a short distance to a tourist spot, Granville Island. I was meeting old friends whom I knew over 18 years ago. Over 25 years ago, I was working overseas in Tokyo for a Japanese investment firm. My colleague was from Hong Kong so we were the two foreigners working there. When I moved to Vancouver, he asked me to meet his university friend who was moving there.

He came here to become a Canadian citizen. I became friends with him for a couple of years until he moved back to Hong Kong to marry and have two children. We’ve kept in touch with the annual holiday cards and this summer they have come to Vancouver. He is here for 3 weeks.

It was nice to meet their kids, 13 and 15 for the first time. I was impressed with their english, too. I found out that the political situation is not the best, so one of the reasons for this visit is to check out high schools for their kids  (who are also Canadian even though they had not been here before).

My friend is retired so he will accompany the kids. His wife though, plans to stay in Hong Kong and work another ten years until retirement. Apparently, the typical retirement age in Hong Kong is 60 as opposed to 65 here in Canada. I was surprised to hear this, I can’t imagine living away from family for ten years but they are willing to make the sacrifice for their children’s well future.

It made me think about my retirement. Even if I did try to retire at 65, the typical age here, I would not be able to afford to. They also recently made a change to the rules, so people my age, will not be able to collect their pensions until they are a year or more older. In any case, it’s depressing to realize that I am in no condition to be able to consider a normal retirement. I better love my next job because it’s likely that I’ll have to keep working well beyond my 60s.

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

Another Hot Sleep

I had another difficult sleep last night because of the heat. I had on the ceiling fan all night but it was not enough. I heard a noise and got scared enough to shut all my windows, too. I would fall asleep, get hot and then wake up. I got up but then felt so groggy. I hope that it doesn’t last much longer.

Chiropractor Appointment

I’ve been having headaches lately so I made an appointment with my chiropractor. Luckily, I was able to get an appointment today. I like to go every few weeks or so to maintain my neck and back.

My chiropractor is really active so he understands all of the issues I might have from running. I told him about my trail running problems in Pacific Spirit Park and unlike my UBC friends who told me to stay away from there, he told me that I should just go to another part of the park. He told me that he goes there often with his wife and two kids and have never had an issue. Now I’m not sure if I should listen to him.

Free Movie Premiere

I won tickets to a free movie premiere. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find anybody who was free to go on a Friday night. I decided that I would go because it’s a Canadian film and it was shot in Vancouver. I need to support that.

I wondered if I would see many people who I knew and I did. I saw at least a few actors that I had worked with before. I only bothered to say hi to a couple of them. I just wasn’t in the mood to socialize or network. Quite frankly, I didn’t want to hear about how many more jobs or gigs people were booked on. I kept to myself at the reception and in the theater.

The movie was good and I saw actors in the movie that I had worked with. I started asking myself why hadn’t I worked on this movie? At the end of the credits, I saw who had done the casting and I wondered if I had some how offended them. I was getting obsessive and I needed to forget about everything and just relax.

Ran Home in the Cool of the Night

After the Q and A with the director, writer, actors, it was past 10. I considered waiting for the bus but decided that I could run home. I wasn’t too far from home, almost 3 miles only. I don’t usually run at night.

It was so nice and cool by this time. I’ve been running in the sun and heat so tonight was really great. The bridge was empty, there were hardly any cars, too. Despite my recent problems with my knee, Achilles tendon and glutes, I was not feeling them tonight.

I can see the appeal of running at night. However, it’s unlikely that I would do this regularly. But tonight, this late night run hit the spot. I felt great when I got home.

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

Early Morning

I had trouble sleeping last night again because of the heat. I dug up an old school looking thing, hoping that it might take out the humidity in the air. Hours later, I read the box and realized that it was a humidifier…I wanted a dehumidifier. I unplugged it. I wonder if I will break down and plug-in my noisy expensive-to-run portable air conditioner after all.

First Run in Three Days

I had purposely rested the last three days because of my knee pain. It’s just as well since I had to work two of the days anyway and didn’t have much time to run. I’m not sure if the three days off have made any difference or not.

Running Injuries

Today was not an easy run day. I experienced a bit of pressure and pain in three areas: my knee, my Achilles tendon and even my glutes. I have been relatively injury-free for such a long time that I wasn’t even sure of what I was feeling today.

Luckily, the pain was not too much so I managed to continue on. I just took it easy today. I didn’t try to run too fast nor did I care too much about form either. I took much longer to reach UBC but I felt fine when I finished.

One of the staff had returned from his trip to New York. I felt so envious of him. It’s been over two years since I was there. I usually go there every year to visit my old stomping grounds and see friends. When my friends ask me when I’ll be visiting, I have to admit, I have no idea when I’ll be able to go, afford it again. That makes me quite sad.

Pass on Trail Run

With the trail race coming up soon, I considered running on the Pacific Spirit Park’s trails close to UBC again. I was talking about my recent bad experiences on the trails with the UBC staff and they persuaded me to give them a miss, citing the attacks in the past while.

When I thought about it, I decided that they were right. The benefit that I will get from running those trails at this point won’t make that much difference I think. It’s too bad that a person can’t run alone in the trails without worrying about what could happen.

Met up with Friend Downtown

I met up with my friend downtown. I was quite tired from my 11 miles run in the morning. I guess I haven’t been running long distances lately. I met her close to my old office, where she still works. Another old office mate saw me and stopped by.

Although it’s been over two years since I lost my job, this is probably the closest I’ve been to the office. I still have uncomfortable feelings about how my job ended. I don’t think I’ll ever get comfortable enough to be able to actually go into the office again.

It surprises me of the bitter feelings I still harbor after so long. I’m glad that I ran into an old worker that I actually like. I can’t imagine what it would have been like had it been somebody I didn’t get along with. That might set me off for a long time, stirring up bad memories. When will I ever be able to completely move on?

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

Early Morning to Set

I didn’t have that good of a sleep last night. I got home after 11 PM –it took me an hour to drive home. By the time I got home, I had to deal with a lot of things, including confirming the call time for today’s TV show gig with my extras agent via email. I also had to get all of my wardrobe ready, too. I didn’t go to sleep until almost 2 AM by the time everything was done.

When I got up, I saw that there was another email from my agent. The call time had been pushed to a half an hour later. I was glad to have the extra time. I went to pick up my friend, who was also booked for today on the same show. We arrived with plenty of time to spare.

Short Day

I was happy to discover that quite a few of my friends were working today. We didn’t get that much time to talk though because we were on set almost the whole time. It was a busy street scene and it was sunny and hot the whole time.

I got to see one of my favorite actors today during the shoot. Even after doing this for over twenty years, I still get a thrill when I get to see my favorite actors working up close. I worked on his show last year and he was friendly and said hello which made me very happy!

I was quite tired today. It was probably partly to do with getting home late last night and being tired working in the hot sun today. We didn’t get many breaks during filming either. They wrapped us after a few hours. I felt sorry for some of my non-union friends because they didn’t get many hours. As a full union member, I get paid twice as much and get an eight-hour minimum.

By the time we went through the process of returning wardrobe, props and signing out, it was right in the middle of rush hour. I was happy to get off early because that meant that I could participate in the Running Room Store anniversary run.

20 Minute Running Challenge

By the time I dropped off my friend, I didn’t have time to go home and change into my running gear. I parked and changed in my car. I ran the short way to the Running Room store to meet up with my friend. I was so glad that I didn’t have to miss this event especially since this is the 30th anniversary.

Free Movie Preview Screening And So It Goes

I met up with a friend to attend a free movie preview screening. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to attend this either since I could have been working late. This was a Rob Reiner movie starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton.

This movie didn’t do it for me. I expected more, especially with two oscar winners as the stars. It seemed to drag on and on though it wasn’t actually all that long. Still, it was free so I can’t complain too much.


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

Beautiful Sunny Day Again

I woke up to another beautiful sunny day again. I had another uncomfortable night sleeping but better than the night before at least. At least I didn’t have to wake up too early because my call time for today is not until 12:30 PM.

It’s a little far to set, so I’m giving myself around two hours to get there. By the time I got ready, I had around an hour and forty-five minutes, still plenty of time. I hoped that there wouldn’t be any delays like construction or anything.

Wal-Mart Visit

There was something at Wal-Mart and I am not that close to one, so I stopped off at one on my way to the filming location. I thought that I’d just pop in and pop out and then be on my way. Otherwise, I’m not sure if I’d have time to get out this way before the sale flyer was finished.

As I was checking out, the cashier asked me if I wanted to sign up for the Wal-Mart MasterCard. I was a little startled by how aggressive she was. However, I was surprised that even though she was ‘just’ a cashier, she did a really good job on selling me on it.

Now, I have plenty of credit cards. I’d have one kind of card and then find out it was not accepted at some store, so I’d get another kind and so on. I don’t have any credit card debt though. I’ve always applied when the cards have some kind of bonus, like points or something. I’ve always been curious as to why they keep giving me these cards even though I have a paltry salary.

This card would give me a bonus and have no fee. I found myself agreeing. I thought she’d just give me a pamphlet and I’d apply at home. But no, she was able to do it all with her cash register! In seconds, I was approved. I was surprised that these credit card companies consider me such a good credit risk given my low salary. I vowed that once I spent enough to get my bonus, I would cancel the card.

Cooler Set than Last Week

There were around twenty of us today. Most of us had worked the two days last week. It was shot inside all day and it was cooler than it was last week. If we stood in strategic places, we’d get some cool breezes from the fan.

We had a pretty busy day where we were on set almost the whole time. I felt like we had  really earned our pay today. We ended up working almost ten hours, so that was good. It was a long drive home in the dark but it wasn’t too busy on the highway.

Booked for Tomorrow

I had a phone message from my Extras Agent in the afternoon. She wanted to submit me for tomorrow on one of my favorite TV shows. I agreed even though I had so much planned to do tomorrow. I’m in no position to refuse any work if I’m offered though. I got accepted and she booked me.

I didn’t get home until after 11 PM. I found out that my call time for tomorrow is 9:30, so not too early which is good. I found out that a friend is working, too, so we’ll go together. I saw some other names of friends working, so I’m looking forward to it!