Day One Thousand of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed-Final Post

Busy Day

I had a busy day today. I managed to do a lot of housework and organizing before heading downtown. First, I went to an old co-worker’s birthday happy hour. Then, I went to the theater to pass on movie tickets I had won. After that, I went to my union meeting and then finally, my wine tasting. Despite being effectively unemployed, I do always seem to be busy.

Union Meeting

I rushed in late to my union meeting. It was being held at a high-end hotel and I was wondering how they could justify the expense for that. I saw several people who I knew but the meeting had already started so I couldn’t go talk to them.

The union staff and board were going over our new contract and then opening the floor to Q and A. I was pretty satisfied with what they had gotten us this contract, which included a raise in our rates. I had to rush off to the next event in my agenda.

Wine Festival Tasting

Tonight was my free wine tasting night! I was quite excited about it. I was going to meet up with friends there and I would get a ride home with them. I got there before them so I proceeded with my tasting.

It was a lot of fun. I didn’t drink a lot, just enough. I probably ate more than I drank. This is definitely one of the best volunteer perks that I get. I’m already looking forward to next year’s festival!

Final Post for this Blog

I’ve decided to stop posting to this blog. I think that one thousand days is a milestone enough and one that I never thought that I’d reach. There were a few times along the way that I thought that I’d found my dream full-time career but it just didn’t come to fruition. The search continues.

As I look back at these past one thousand days, I realize that I am posting more on my physical activities, like marathons, trail runs, yoga, triathlon training, etc rather than my job/career search. Although these activities have kept me sane over the period and will continue to be a big part of my life, I know that I need to shift my way of thinking.

Who knows? Maybe I will start up a new blog, one with me detailing my new career. But for now, this is the end. Thanks for reading!


Day Nine Hundred and Ninety Nine of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Early Morning Run

I woke up early this morning to run downtown. I was happy to discover that all of my hamstring pain had disappeared. I don’t know if it was the massage I got two days ago or if it got better on its own. In any case I was happy because I could push it a little more when I ran downtown.

It was supposed to rain today. It’s been nice and sunny the last few days so I was okay with it being overcast. It’s supposed to be nice on the weekend for the trail race on Saturday and then for the race I’m volunteering for on Sunday.

Volunteer Shift

I got to my volunteer shift just in time. There were quite a few people and I recognized one of them from our shift last week. I was glad to get this position, it was easy and not too busy. Now that I’ve fulfilled my two shifts, I get a free ticket for the wine tasting tomorrow.

Ran Home

It started to rain lightly when I left the convention center. I was a little chilled because the room I was in all morning was quite cold. I figured that it would give me more incentive to run home faster.

I did a slow pace home. I was slower not so much because of how I was feeling physically, but more because it was lunch time and there were a lot of pedestrians during lunch hour. Once I got past the busy area, it was a little easier to run faster.

New Mystery Shop

My friend sent me an email for a new mystery shop. It promised an easy 15 minute shop. It also promised a bonus because it was last-minute. I checked the locations and there was one at UBC. That seemed promising.

I registered for the website. If it had been a site I had found myself, I probably would have quit after the first few questions that I asked, because it seemed pretty intrusive but since my friend has recommended it, I finished it. I did get assigned to the shop but I haven’t heard anything further about it.

I received an email answering my question. The turnaround for my email was only a few hours so that was pretty good. I emailed another company and they took days to answer. I guess I’ll go ahead and do this shop and see what happens.

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

Short Run

It was a good day to do a run. I still didn’t want to strain my hamstring, even after my massage therapy appointment yesterday, so I decided to do a short run. I briefly considered doing some hills training and then dismissed that.

My first trail race is this weekend. There will be a few shorter races and one more half marathon before the full marathon in early May. Then another full marathon in June and then an ultra trail full marathon in July. In some ways they seem far away and in others, seem terrifyingly too soon.

Weight Training Program

I was looking forward to doing my weight training program today. I went to the gym a little later than usual so it was quite crowded. I managed to add weight to my machines, so that was good. Sometimes I wonder if I’m making any progress. My massage therapist had asked me if I was able to lift more weight and I have. I forget that those little increases do mean progress.

There was this peppy fitness trainer who I have seen a couple of times before. Those times I’ve seen her, she was working one-on-one. But tonight, she had four people with her. She yelped out, ‘where did all these people come from?!’. I guess she’s used to a less crowded weight room. I’m glad that I was almost finished so I wouldn’t get the evil eye from her, taking a machine away from one of her clients.

Executor and Retirement Planning

I signed up for another free executor and retirement planning seminar tonight. I’ve been to a few of these. I have to admit that I’m more curious about how they are run than the content itself. And I’m curious to see who attends these seminars.

This seminar was put on by a couple of financial planners. They were older, probably in their late 50s, early 60s. They did say that this was a second career to them. There were two other presenters as well and they were also in their late 50s. I guess their age works in their favor presenting this particular topic.

I’m always a little surprised when I see quite elderly people attending these seminars. I always think that at their age, they’d already have plans made, but I guess not. And when I mean ‘elderly’, I mean some of them were in their late 70s or 80s. I guess you have to give them credit to looking into it at this late stage. It’s better than those who do nothing and leave their families with chaotic finances.

There were a handful of really young people, 20s and 30s. I wondered what their story was. Had they just been named executor for somebody or were they like me, considering this field as a career option. The last time I attended an event like that, I wasn’t too enthusiastic, I wonder if it means I should really look somewhere else for career direction.

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

Completed Background Performers Course

A few weeks ago my extras agent forwarded an email about a course for background performers. The company claimed that all background performers, new and old, could benefit from this course. There were even recommendations from full union members. They were offering a 50% promo deal so I decided to sign up for it.

I signed up for a month’s subscription and it would expire tomorrow. I had completed the first course a couple of weeks ago but had to motor through the remaining six more courses before it expired. I was not surprised that there was no new information in this course for me. It would be useful for a new person but not for somebody who has done extra work for a while, especially not a full union member. Oh well. At least it wasn’t expensive.

Mystery Shop Lunch

I had booked a mystery shop lunch for today. I don’t usually do lunches downtown because my friends who go with me don’t have enough time to spare. This time, one of my friends was able to take a long lunch and go with me.

This restaurant has a stunning view and we were given a table right beside the window. I had requested this when I made the reservation but the person didn’t sound that confident that it would be available. I was happy that they were able to comply.

The lunch went extremely well. This location operated like a well-oiled machine. The food was great and so was the staff. I was relieved because that meant that I’d be able to do the report quickly.

Free Massage Therapy Appointment

I was able to get a free massage therapy appointment this afternoon. Ideally, I could have used one right after the half-marathon but this was good, too. I had another episode of my hamstring strain so that was good. It’s best to go to the school with a specific problem for them to work on.

I was happy to see a student who had worked on me before. I was her exam patient. During the massage, her instructor evaluated her. She did a really good job so I’m glad. I felt better after though I could still feel my hamstrings aching and straining a bit.

Ran Home

I asked whether or not it would be okay if I ran home. I was feeling okay and I knew that I wouldn’t overdo it. She said that it was fine. She said that if I wasn’t feeling quite up to it, I could always do a brisk walk. I didn’t think I’d need to do that.

It was a sunny day so it was a pleasant run home. I didn’t run too fast though. I had thoughts of pulling my hamstring which I can’t afford to do with a trail race this weekend. Once I get this trail race out of the way, I can think about doing a long run on Sunday. I have to keep to my full marathon schedule.

Day Nine Hundred and Ninety Six of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Early Morning Weekly Run

I was happy to get up early to do my weekly Sunday run to my free yoga class. Last week, I had been running my half-marathon so I was glad to get back to class today. It was another nice day and I passed a few runners along the route.

I had a bit of a hamstring issue so I wasn’t sure how I would feel this morning but all was fine. I didn’t run too quickly because I didn’t want to put a strain on my hamstring but I did do an okay pace. I was all smiles as I passed my fellow runners this morning.

Core Fitness and Yoga Class at Lululemon

Today was another core fitness and yoga class. I knew what to expect this time. Last class was a little difficult because I don’t work on my core as much as I should. I had to watch my knees for the lunges and squats. One of the instructors suggested some modifications for the burpees, so that helped, too. This second class went better than the first class. I’m really enjoying it. I know I wouldn’t probably do core on my own.

Chinatown New Year’s Parade

After the class, I headed for Chinatown for the New Year’s parade with my yoga friends. There were a lot of people. The parade was fun but a lot longer than I had expected. I was getting quite cold standing on the street for more than two and a half hours. I had originally planned to run home but I was too chilled, I had to take the bus.

Dealing with Dementia

I called my Aunt. She had left me a message on my machine saying that she was returning my call. She saw my phone number on her call display. What she didn’t realize was that I had called her several times the day before, when I was frantically trying to find her, when she got lost on her way to meeting with me.

I wanted to ‘test’ her today. I wanted to see if she was okay or if she was still experiencing confusion. Unfortunately, she didn’t do so well with my ‘test’. In some ways she was okay and in others, she was clueless.

I’m most worried about two things. She has misplaced a new credit card and her NEXUS card. I’ve asked her several times if she has found her NEXUS card because we need it for when we go across the border, but she can’t remember where she put it. Her condo is quite clean with little clutter, as compared to mine, so it shouldn’t be difficult for her to find but she can’t find it.

I just found out today that she has misplaced her new credit card. She had just received it in the mail and hadn’t even activated it or signed it. And now it is gone. I asked her if she has gone to the bank but she doesn’t even know where the credit card is issued from.

I’m going to visit her in ten days or so. I think I’m going to get her to look while I’m there and maybe we can find both. I’m also going to get the phone numbers and contact information of her brothers and her best friends that she has written down. I might not contact them now, but there may be a time soon when I’ll have to.

Day Nine Hundred and Ninety Five of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed


I woke up quite exhausted. I was still quite anxious about what had happened with my Aunt last night. She’s had memory issues before, but never this severe. She was fine at times and then, not able to explain things that had happened.

I’m not sure what is going to happen. A few years ago, the same things were happening, where she’d forget things like burning pots, but she became better so I’m not sure what that was about. I worry about her because she lives alone and doesn’t have any kids to check in on her.

Volunteer Orientation Session

I had to get across town in West Vancouver to attend a volunteer orientation session for a race next weekend. If I wasn’t so tired, I might have run there. I had to stay up late writing my mystery shop report, so I had too little sleep to undertake that long run.

I took a bus there instead. It was a lot farther than I thought it was so it was just as well I did not run there. I met up with the race directors and four other volunteers. It was a brief orientation. I did get to see the race course scenery and it is spectacular. I’m sure it’ll be a fun race.

Swimming Lesson and Weight Training Session

I rushed over to the pool for my swim lesson. There is only three more lessons including today, and I still can’t do a decent front crawl. There were only three students today so we were able to get more individualized instruction.

I decided to stay later to practice. I always feel self-conscious in the pool because I know that there are so many really good swimmers around. My peers are under three feet tall and even they do better than me. There are so many things to remember, my form, my arms, legs, breathing…when I think of one, I forget about the others.

Although my original intention of taking these classes was to improve my form enough so that I could do a triathlon, I wonder if I will care so much when I’m actually in the open water. I might forget about everything and just concentrate on going as fast as I can so I can get out of the water and on to the next step.

I was getting tired and dehydrated. I keep forgetting that I need to drink water while I’m swimming. It’s not like running, when I’m more aware of the cues to re-hydrate myself. I kept telling myself one more lap, one more lap until I was exhausted. I felt satisfied and got out of the pool.

Since I needed to do a weight training workout, I simply got changed and headed to the weight room in the same area. I was tired from the swimming but it was easy to do my program here before I left for home. It wasn’t too busy so I was able to get through the machines fairly quickly.

Ran Home

I was looking forward to the run home in the sun. I had been missing it when I was inside in the pool. The pool building does show skylights so I knew how beautiful it was outside. I was pretty tired from my swimming and weight training so I allowed myself some slack and did a slow pace home.

No TV Commercial

I got a reject email from my Extras Agent. I did not get picked for the truck TV commercial as I had hoped. I was quite disappointed. I was holding out hope since I hadn’t heard. I have not worked in a while and it’s been a while since I’ve booked a TV commercial, too. Oh well.

Day Nine Hundred and Ninety Four of Unemployment-Fifty and Unemployed

Early Morning Run

I got up early this morning. I signed up for two volunteer shifts for the Vancouver Wine Festival and the first was today. For working those two shifts, I get a free ticket to the festival’s tasting next week. It was another beautiful sunny day so I was looking forward to the run downtown. I managed to do a good short run. It wasn’t too cold or windy either.

Wine Festival Volunteer Session

My first volunteer shift for the Wine Festival was helping to set up the gala. There were about 15 volunteers, almost all of them seniors. That made sense since this shift was on a week day.

Our first job was to put covers on banquet chairs. Another job was to place menus on napkins. The last job was to stuff gift bags and place them on the chairs. We managed to finish everything in less time than expected so we got to go home. I was happy about that and ran home.

Lost Aunt

I called my Aunt to confirm our plans later today. My Aunt would take the train closest to her and come into Vancouver. We were going to meet at the skytrain station closest to me. We’ve done this many, many times before. This would save me from having to drive all the way to her place, pick her up and then come back into the city, and then drive her home after dinner.

I got to the meeting spot and waited for her. She was not there when I got there and I started to worry because she is never late. She is 82 years old and has been having some memory issues lately.

As the time passed, I got increasingly more worried. I tried calling her home but there was no answer. She does not have a cell phone. I tried to call my machine in case she had called me there. After more than 90 minutes I went in the sky train station to talk to one of the attendants.

I explained the whole situation of what was happening. She contacted staff of other stations to see if they might have noticed her waiting. I considered going to each station myself to see if I could spot her but they said that they would see if anything came up. I gave a report to the transit police. At this point, my Aunt was missing for two hours.

I tried calling her home one more time. This time she answered. She had just returned home. I was so relieved. I was so happy, I hugged the transit attendant to thank her for her help. I told my Aunt to sit tight and I would come pick her up. I still needed to do the mystery shop.

Mystery Shop Dinner

We finally arrived at the restaurant for my mystery shop almost three hours after my original reservation. I had to finish the shop by ten o’clock or my shop would not be accepted. If I hadn’t been able to find my Aunt and had to skip the shop, I’d be in big trouble.

I tried to find out what had happened exactly and why she was not able to find her way to a place she’s been to many times. She was not able to explain what had happened to her which was a bad sign. I couldn’t think about it right now, we had to do the shop.

Luckily, the meal went very well. I was quite distracted with what had happened but knew that I had to concentrate on reporting all of the details. My Aunt was fine during dinner. I was a little worried that she would accidentally reveal my mystery shopper status but she was okay. She did try to pay the bill even though I had explained to her that I had to pay but in the end let me pay. All went well and we were able to leave with fifteen minutes to spare.

Late Night Writing Report

By the time we left the restaurant and did some grocery shopping, it was late. By the time I dropped her off and got home, it was after 11 PM. I was exhausted but knew that I had to complete the shopper’s report.

If we had gone for dinner at the time I had intended, I would have been home by 8 PM. The report was fine but it still took me over two and a half hours to complete. It was almost 2 AM by the time I got to sleep. I was relieved to get to sleep after today’s stressful day. I’m not sure what I can do.