I bought a car

She’s a beaut, too.

I’ve owned her for about two weeks now and it’s been two incredible weeks. Progress, am I right? If only January-April me could have seen me now and known how this year was going to shape up.

She’s a pre-owned vehicle. There’s 55,000 kms on her, so she’s been around the block a time or two. I love her no less, though. She’s dependable, reliable and completely beautiful. When I say beautiful, I mean… she turns heads when I drive by.

Yes, I refer to my car as a her.

I need to give her a name. I’ll gladly accept recommendations if anyone has names that would suit a car. Brownie points go to any names that are recommended more than once!

Tuesday’s surprise

Five people from my work were fired today.

Five people. No explanation as to why, just notification that they no longer work for the company.

Five people got fired and I wasn’t one of them. I know it’s just my being overly sensitive but I really feel for each of those five people. Whatever the reason they were fired, I know what it’s like. It’s never good to be abruptly out of a job… let alone during a pandemic.

Usually you hear about last hired, first fired… but I was the last person hired. I’m still here, still standing and feeling like I dodged a bullet in some way.

A boring story.

I banged my head.

‘Banged’ is a really weird word. It almost defies the rules of English. It sounds like it should be ‘bonged’…

Anyways, I banged my head. Really badly. I have a stacking washer/dryer set and this is the first time in my life to ever have the stacking laundry system. Since I moved into this place I’ve been extra careful about ensuring I don’t stand up with the dryer door open. Well, careful until last night.

I grabbed the last two pieces of clothing out of the washing machine and stood up quickly, gesturing my hand upward to throw them into the dryer. On the way up, though, I hit the dryer door… so fucking hard. My head has been throbbing since last night. There’s actually a giant lump on the side of my head, where I hit it. It’s probably been 20 years since I’ve managed to do that to myself.

I had a really hard time sleeping last night. I’m having a really hard time focusing today. All I can really focus on is the gnawing pain… reminding me of what a dumbass I am for knowingly standing up whilst the dryer door was open. It’s like I was asking for it.

Anyways, I banged my head.

It hurts.

That… was a story.

Story time: The time I was spit on

A man spit in my face once. Actually, I shouldn’t really call him a man. He was 20, exceptionally immature and generally a disgusting human being. Calling him a man seems like a disservice to men in this world. Then again, calling him a boy seems like I’m making an excuse for his behaviour. There’s no excuse for spitting on people.

It was March 2018. I was having a discussion with my friend Rob about another crazy story from his work-life. Rob was the chief of police. Though he never told me anything that was confidential, I did hear some crazy stories from the man over the years that I knew him. We’d just grabbed some coffee and we were waiting for players to return from the intermission of the game we were watching. Rob was telling me a story about how a few nights prior he was working the graveyard shift and he found himself, at 2:00 in the morning, chasing a man in his tighty-whiteys yielding a machete high off some sort of illegal substance through the courtyard of city hall. He uh, well he has no fears.

Rob is tower of a human being. He stands at 6 feet 7 inches tall. He has an extremely intimidating presence. Had he not been married to one of my coworkers, I likely would have feared him just based on his presence. Nevertheless, I digress. Cop life was a fit for him.

So, the explanation of Rob is important to the story because Rob actually plays a pretty integral role into what came from the rest of that evening.

During the third period a fight broke out. This was a bad fight. One of the players actually attempted to use a piece of his equipment to inflict dangerous, physical harm that could disable another player for life during this fight.

Typically, though a player is going to be kicked out of the game for such actions, they’re put in the penalty box while the referee reviews the play, what happened and what lead to the dangerous actions to ensure they have everything correct for expulsion from the game because they will have to file a report after.

This player was minutes from being kicked out. He was mad. He got into the penalty box and started using his equipment to try and break the penalty box. Which… physically speaking isn’t possible. But, he was angry and being an idiot, trying to inflict damage and throwing around threats to anyone he laid his eyes on.

Rob being Rob, well he stepped in. He stood in front of this player, towering at least 6 or 7 inches over him, and told him to sit down and calm down. This player didn’t.

I needed to collect some information from this player for the incident report so I asked Rob to get it for me.

Ohhhhhh, let me just say no one was prepared for what happened next.

This player got mad. He got up and in his fit of fury decided he was going to come after me. Problem was, even with all of his equipment on, he was still a lot shorter and smaller than Rob and Rob was standing between him and I. Rob was literally holding this player back from trying to jump at me and swing punches as he hurled insults my direction and shouted some pretty vulgar things.

I’ve been around sports most of my life so hearing vulgar things doesn’t really phase me. I don’t like. I don’t think it’s acceptable. But, I also can’t control the things that people say, so, I don’t let it get to me when disgusting things are said to me. Especially if it’s coming from someone like a 20 year old brat with a bad temper, no social skills and clear anger issues.

What did phase me though, was that in that moment when the player couldn’t overpower Rob, he decided to spit on me. He knew that he couldn’t get past Rob so he hocked a loogie and spit directly into my face.

It was one of the most disgusting moments of my life.

I was shocked. I was embarrassed. I was immediately scared. This idiot’s saliva had just landed in my eye and on my face.

This player does not know that the man he’s been trying to overpower to come at me is actually the Chief of Police. No one ever really knew what Rob did because it wasn’t something that Rob broadcasted to anyone outside of his circles. He just did his job and lived his life.

Well, in the moment when he spit on me, everyone knew it. Largely because everyone heard him hocking a loogie and then because everyone heard me scream in terror when the spit hit my face.

Here in Canada spitting on someone is a form of assault. This player, not realizing that he’s just committed a form of assault in front of the city’s chief of police, kept on shouting vulgar things at me as I started to cry and pull off my jacket and sweatshirt and scrape away at my skin with said clothing because I felt disgusting due to their being spit on me.

I kid you not, Rob grabbed this player by the back of his neck, walked him out of the penalty box and down the hall to the dressing room. He didn’t ask the referees, he didn’t wait for anyone, he just walked him down the hall and put him in the dressing room.

He came back to check on me. I was crying at this point in time. It was just such a disgusting feeling. I felt like I needed a shower. I felt like I’d been violated in a sense. I just felt… unclean. People say that I completely overreacted when it happened, but I really don’t think that I did. Until you’ve been spit at, in the face, you really can’t understand just how disgusting it feels. And by a stranger… someone you don’t know. It’s just… it really does leave you with this sense of feeling like you want to crawl out of your skin.

Rob’s a cop. He’d just watched this entire thing unfold. He got on his phone and he called some cops, who were on duty, to come on down and help this get sorted out. He made a statement, he vouched about what happened on the ice, and then about what happened to me when I got spat on. Because the police were there, I had to make a statement about getting spit on.

The police were waiting for this player when he came out of the dressing room. Let me tell you, it wasn’t a good sight. So Rob stayed back next to me, and the two police officers that came waited for this player to walk out of the dressing room to inform him they’d been told of what happened. This player got angry again, screaming down the hall at Rob and myself ‘You called the fucking cops on me, you pieces of shit!’

At this point the player proceeded to walk past the cops saying that everything they were told was a lie and that they were wasting their time and should go back to the donut shop. (Classy, I know)

When the two on-duty police officers pointed out that they had statements from an off-duty police officer that he witnessed the player spit on someone and that’s a form of assault, the player got angry.

‘You’re a fucking pig?’ He yelled in our direction. Then he tried to run at us again. The two on-duty police officers held him back. Like, this player has a serious anger issue. So, the police officers were holding him back and he hit one of the police officers in the face, which is a form of assault against a police officer.

So, they handcuffed him and took him off to the station.

It took three months following, but this player was actually charged with three counts of assault.

  1. For using his equipment to inflict harm upon one of the players on the ice.
  2. For spitting on me.
  3. For hitting a police officer in the face.

The initial count of assault ended up being thrown out because, reviewing the video of the game, they could not prove intent to harm based on what the player had done. The crown prosecutor argued that he could have accidentally tried to use his skate blade to cut the other player’s neck. Which… was complete and utter bullshit, but whatever, I don’t control the justice system.

He was charged with assault for spitting on me and he was charged with assault for hitting the police officer when they were trying to hold him back from running at Rob and I after he learned that Rob was a police officer.

Nothing ended up going to trial. He admitted guilt. I think he realized he had no choice but to admit guilt because he knew that he spit on someone in front of the chief of police and proceed to hit a police officer in front of two other police officers and a crowd of people.

He was given a fine and probation and forced to take anger management classes.

In a weird twist of events, though the player pleaded guilty to two charges of assault, the league actually never punished him. The league said that we could not prove that the player intended to injure the other player his skate blade and that there was no video footage of me being spit on, so it could have been any one of the six people around at that moment who decided to spit on me.

The league took zero ownership of the incident that involved the police officer being hit because they said they cannot control the actions of said players once they leave the ice, and therefore he cannot be held accountable by the league for something that could’ve very well happened on a sidewalk anywhere in the city on any day of the week.

Rob kept working games after that.

I think it was good for him. He loves hockey and he has a commanding enough presence that, when players pull bullshit like what happened that night, he played an integral role in calming down situations.

I didn’t keep working games.

I wrote an angry letter to the league explaining that I went home wearing someone else’s clothing that evening because I was so disgusted and felt so unclean I couldn’t bear to wear my jacket and sweatshirt. I actually threw away that jacket and sweatshirt. I remember crying my eyes out in the arena bathroom trying to scrub my skin, to try and make myself feel clean. It wasn’t like a small spit wad. It was like… a mouth full of disgusting spit that hit my face and ran down my face onto my neck and my clothing because there was so much of it.

I told the league they shouldn’t expect people to be there if they cannot protect the people who are there. I told the league that if they don’t take hard stances on behaviour like that, they’re as culpable for the behaviour as the person who commits it. Yeah, behaviour might be learned, but that doesn’t mean it has to be accepted.

The league basically black-listed me. Which was fine. I wasn’t going back there again.

As for what happened to the player… in late 2018 he was arrested for pushing his pregnant girlfriend down a flight of stairs.

In 2019 he was arrested again for kidnapping his child causing a nation-wide amber alert to go out and ended up ‘on the run’ for just 48 hours before they police caught up with him.

Currently he’s serving a two year jail sentence. After he was arrested for kidnapping his baby, his girlfriend came forward with allegations of continued physical assault throughout the relationship that included statements like her saying she was punched so hard she actually lost two of her teeth.

In 2019 when he went to jail the league, who had allowed him to play all throughout his troubles with the law (spitting, hitting a police officer, pushing his girlfriend down the stairs), finally made a public statement about him.

It was your standard run of the mill PR Bullshit.

‘We’re so shocked to learn of the actions of [player’s name]. We’re sending our complete support to [his ex-girlfriend] and [his child] during this troubling time and we want everyone to know that we do not condone these actions, or domestic violence of any kind.’

Now, I’m not saying this night set off a chain reaction of events in his life that led to him pushing his pregnant girlfriend down the stairs and subsequently kidnapping his baby. He clearly has anger issues and has clearly had them for a lot longer than I’ve ever bared witness to. That being said, an arena full of people watched him take his skate off of his foot and use the blade to physically try and slice someone’s neck. The chief of police watched him spit directly into my face as a form of trying to intimidate me, and two police officers had to physically hold him back, one of which ended up getting punched in the process.

If a league isn’t willing to take a stance on that behaviour, why do they get to play the ‘we had no idea it was this bad’ after this player’s behaviour makes national news.

They knew what he was like. They made excuses for it. They continued to pay him and cover his actions, that continued to the point where a pregnant woman was pushed down a flight of stairs and a baby was kidnapped.

You know that saying ‘birds of a feather flock together’? I kind of feel like this applies to people. If you’re covering up someone’s shiteous actions for years, quite literally until it makes national news and you just can’t anymore, are you not culpable? I mean, you might not have committed the actions yourself but you knew what was happening you saw hard evidence as to what was happening and heard what was going on behind the scenes… hell WE ALL HEARD. Rather than giving the player ramifications for his actions, they covered them. They swept them under the rug. They kept paying him and making him feel as though his behaviour was okay.

Quite frankly I think he got off easy only getting two years. I really hope that his ex-girlfriend has taken their child and started over somewhere new. I hope she’s not waiting for him to get out. People like that… they need more help than any one person can provide. People like that, they will likely continue to be a part of ‘the system’ for the rest of their life. People like that never seem to think they have a problem.

Anyways, that’s the story of the time someone spit in my face.

People say I overreacted. I really don’t think I did. Some people think being spit on is not a big deal, I personally think it’s one of the most disrespectful and degrading things you can do to a person. Also, it’s disgusting. It is. It makes you feel unclean. It makes you feel gross and it makes you feel less than human.

A little bit of peace.

After months of infighting my uncle(F) has provided notice to our family that he will no longer continue contesting my uncle’s(K) will. He has let us know that he’s called off his lawyers and will allow the process to proceed without their trying to intervene.

The move comes after my dad made a visit to see my uncle(F) this long weekend. I’m not too sure what happened, but whatever my dad said it seems to have worked.

Hopefully this means the arguing, the name calling, the nasty emails, the nasty phone calls, the everything can stop.

Hopefully, fingers crossed, the lawyers can continue fulfilling my uncle’s(K) final wishes. Hopefully the only lawyers to be involved from here on out are the one’s trusted with fullfilling my uncle’s(K) final wishes. Hopefully there’s no more fighting. Hopefully people choose to remember my uncle(K) for the incredible man he was, rather than how much money he made.

A glimmer of hope

Well I woke up to a nice surprise this morning. I was officially approved for EI and actually had money in my bank account when I woke up today. As someone who’s had roughly $50-$100 to my name for the past six plus months, seeing money in my bank account is a huge sigh of relief that I’m very thankful for at this point in time.

I also woke up to a second surprise this morning. The engineering firm that I was interviewing with in early late February/early March has decided that, though they’re not back at their office yet, they want to move ahead with recruitment as a measure to have someone hired to start when they do return to their offices. They’ve asked if I can do a video interview next week. I presumed that they were either going to forget about me, or cancel the posting because businesses have to be very careful with their spending in this present economy and hiring a new employee is a large investment. They still want to talk to me though… two months later… so they haven’t forgotten about me yet.

Two good things happened in one day.

I almost don’t know how to contain myself.

Someone threatened to poison my dad’s dog.

I wish it weren’t true but I’m not even kidding. My dad is not a very fearful man. I’ve seen him fend off someone with a knife and not blink twice. Right now, though… he’s a little on edge.

A couple of days ago my dad took his dog on a walk through some of the trails around here. The trails themselves are provincial parks that have just had walking paths cleared for people to hike in the non-snowy months.

Leading up to the trails you have to walk past a house with a rather yappy little fur ball in the back yard. If you so much as step foot within eye-line of the fence the dog will bark until you’re long out of sight.

A couple of days ago when my dad was walking with his dog past this house the dog started yapping at them. His dog, naturally, started barking back. The man that owns this house came out and started screaming at my dad. My dad says that he called the man an idiot for complaining about a barking dog because dogs bark when they see each other, it’s a fact of life. Then he says that he kept on walking leaving the man to yell into the abyss of his backyard.

A few hours later, bylaws enforcement showed up at our house and had us come out to the driveway so that, from a distance, they could tell us that someone had reported we were out with our dog, not on leash, and that we were not following social distancing guidelines and had gone into someone’s yard and made them fear for their safety.

There’s a fence. A FUCKING FENCE. There was no going into anyone’s yard.

Should my dad have pissed this man off my calling him an idiot and walking away? Probably not. But that’s how my dad rolls. I guarantee you, with how worried he’s been about this COVID stuff as of late, he ain’t going near anyone who doesn’t live in his house.

Anyways, bylaws enforcement left and my dad was like ‘Well, I guess we won’t walk that trail anymore’. And he told each of us to avoid that trail, whether or not we had the dog with us.

Today this grumpy asshole brings his yippy dog down our road. Naturally, when my dad’s dog sees this dog on the street it starts barking.

This man gets so angry that my dad’s dog is barking from the window, inside of the house, that he walks up to our front door, pounds on it and starts screaming ‘Get out here you asshole, and bring that fucking piece of shit you call a dog too’.

My dad went over to the fence and started yelling at the man to get out of our yard and leave us alone and this guy just went off. He was screaming and yelling about how my dad’s dog is a menace to society and she bites small children (which, by the way, I don’t think my dad’s dog has ever bitten anyone or anything… she’s the dog equivalent of a teddy bear) and she annoys the whole damn town and on and on AND ON… My dad, not being afraid of pretty much anyone, just called him an idiot and told him to keep on walking.

The man told my dad to ‘man up’ and come out and fight him. When my dad refused this guy got angrier. Finally my dad said ‘If you don’t leave my yard I’m going to call the police’.

The man says ‘You want to play that game? You want to hide behind the fucking cops? Okay, we can play that game. Better watch that nobody puts drain cleaner in your dog’s water bowl because we’d all be pretty fucking happy if that thing dropped dead’.

This all unfolded in the space of maybe 2-3 minutes. My dad ended up coming in the house and phoning the police. He did so to let them know that this guy had just threatened to kill our dog. And now, I tell you, I haven’t seen him this afraid of anything in a long time.

I don’t think he’s going to let the dog out of his sight. I mean, he’s told us we’re not allowed to give her food or drink outside anymore and that if we let her outside we need to watch her. He’s just really scared right now. And rightfully so, I think. That dog is his best friend.

What kind of a human being threatens to poison someone’s dog?

Honestly, if a man comes that unhinged at another dog barking at his dog, he’s lost his marbles. There are 20 dogs on this road, all of which are a chorus of barking the majority of each day. Is he just going to start going around poisoning the whole neighbourhood?

Coping with anxiety during a pandemic

Lately I’ve had an extremely difficult time coping with the sheer amounts of anxiety wracking my brain. First I caught a cold and my brain was trying to convince me that it was Corona Virus, and now that I’m basically over that, I’m struggling to believe that I can step outside of the front door without catching Corona Virus.

It makes no sense. I know this. My neighbourhood is sparse. Large yards, minimal homes, basically no chance of stepping out the front door and meeting anyone. But still, the fear of stepping outside of my front door is very real.

Today I sat in the truck outside of the Pharmacy for a half hour before I could actually work up the nerve to go in. And, when I did go in, it was only because I’d gotten a pep-talk from Knight on the phone.

I’m probably alone in this, but lately, every time I actually go to the store (which is the absolute minimal possible), my anxiety likes to play this game with me where I’ll be wandering the aisles to quickly grab what I want and I’ll feel a swell in my throat. Is it a sickness swell? No. More or less just one of those swells that comes before a big gulp when you’re trying to get past your nerves. But anxiety, damn anxiety, it tells me ‘that’s it… he/she was asymptomatic and he/she just gave it to you without knowing it’.

It’s not logical. I know it’s not logical.

I want to get to a point where my brain understands and appreciates the cautionary measures that I’m trying to make and doesn’t automatically turn them into fear.

Caution, not fear. That is my goal.

It’s important to be cautious right now. And realistically, when I go into a store wearing a mask, don’t get within ten feet of anyone, use the self-checkout and am out of the store within ten minutes, that’s caution. That’s smart. I know what I need, I know what aisles they’re in and there’s no need to browse or wander. That’s caution. Having outside clothing and indoor clothing, washing outside clothing after it’s been worn outside, that’s caution.

I don’t want to fear the world. People aren’t wandering around licking strangers in the store. I know this. I need to learn how to deliver that reassurance to my brain.

Things I’m doing to cope:

  • Forcing myself to go into the store because if I need an item and it cannot wait for another day or another time, then sitting in the parking lot, prolonging the struggle isn’t helping my brain
  • Reminding myself that no one else wants to get sick either, and with that notion, I should be confident enough to know they’ll want to stay as far away from me as I wish to stay from them
  • Careful and calm breathing and methodical movement in public and acknowledging the difference between needs and wants. Planning ahead, so that if I have to go to the store, I’m going to the store once and getting everything in one go
  • Going for walks through the bush because exercise is good for the body, mind and soul, sunshine is good for my mood and there’s still so much snow on the trails that they’re basically abandoned (see photo)
  • Not allowing myself to feel this productivity guilt that’s become trendy around the web as of late, trying to remind myself that ‘just being’ is enough right now
  • Taking all precautionary measures to stay safe and stay healthy
  • Learning how to tolerate the uncertainty of the world right now. When will this end? I don’t know. And I have to be okay with the unknown. The goal is to keep as many people as healthy as possible. The goal is not to ‘open the economy’. Knowing that if we’re smart about this, more people can stay safe
  • Trying to look forward to post pandemic life, living in the city, working my dream job, paying off my debts, being happy

If I can keep calm, turn the fear into caution, I think getting through this pandemic will be a whole lot easier to deal with.

Has anyone else been dealing with anxiety about going in public? Those times when you have to, when you just can’t avoid it, when it’s a requirement to go out… how do you deal?

Mighty Neighbourly

This morning we found a note on our front door that read:

Hey Neighbour,

We hope you’re staying sane during this crazy time.

If you are unable or afraid to go to the store right now feel free text your shopping list or any singular items that you might need to [insert phone number here]. We will leave any and all of said items at your front door with 24 hours of reading your text message.

Stay healthy and safe!

[Insert their address here so we knew what house the message came from]

The neighbours’ on this street are so nice! I rag on small towns a lot. I’ve always considered myself a city person, and small towns kind of drive me nuts. But, when I see how good the neighbours are to my parents, it really does warm my heart of stone.

At least I’m able to know they will be looked after if this pandemic ends and I EVER get a chance to make a break for the city.

I forgot about most of these photos.

Last June when I got that job offer that fell through, I ended up switching from an iPhone to a Samsung. I was going to need a new phone for the job, and when I went to replace my phone, I decided to take a leap and make the switch.

I still have the iPhone, mainly because I never took the photos off of it. Well, now that I have all this time on my hands… why not?

I am no photographer, just a girl who likes to remember moments. I tend to save my favourite photos for Instagram, so if you want to see my favourites, follow me on Instagram (shameless self promotion).

*These are in no particular order. Just some random photos that documented my days. There’s also no identifiable people in these photos, for the sake of the privacy of my family and friends. Any people you might see are strangers. Hopefully I don’t upload any photos of identifiable people though. I hate it when I wind up in the back of other’s photos so I never want to do that to someone else.

Sunrise from the balcony of my old apartment.
Watching the Calgary Stampeders. Yeah, yeah, I know what people say about the CFL. I don’t know a ton about football but the Stampeders are a fun team to watch.
Golfing in Calgary on one of the few days of the year there isn’t snow.
The view from the top of the Zip Line at Canada Olympic Park. This was the Ski Jump for the 1988 Olympics. 1988… also the year I was born.
Watching the end of summer at Lake Louise, Alberta
One time the road flooded and this is how the neighbours got around for a few days.
This is at Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver, BC
The top of the Westin Hotel in Edmonton, Alberta
This is from Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. I am still not sure why they let us into the Stadium that day… in the middle of football season, but it was a fun afternoon.
This is Nyhavn Canal in Copenhagen, Denmark. It’s a very… ‘instafamous’ stop on the Copenhagen crawl. We didn’t really get there until the sun was already setting so it made for a very dark photo. Oh well, still a nice photo!
I haven’t the foggiest idea what this hotel was called. I remember, though, that it was in Whistler, BC. It was a perfect mountain escape.
This is the penthouse of the Westin Hotel in Downtown Calgary. I remember thinking that my entire apartment could fit into one room of the penthouse suite.
An epic display of rainbows on a top secret weekend away.
When the locals cause a brief interruption of your golf game. Canmore, Alberta.
I cannot remember the name of this place but it sure is beautiful, California.
Shopping District in Copenhagen, Denmark
Watching hockey with the Danes in… Vojens (Voyens? Sorry if any Danes read this and I butcher the spelling), Denmark.
This was at one of those UPICK farms in Chilliwack/Abbottsford, BC.
This is what $85 Canadian gets you at Hells Kitchen on the Las Vegas Strip.
New York New York Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas Strip. I am proud to say that I never got drunk enough to risk that roller coaster.
That time I snuck away for a rainy day in the city…
That time that I snuck away for a rainy day in the middle of nowhere. Well, nowhere now. This was the primary route used for British Columbia’s Gold Rush.
The Driveway. It’s just a driveway, I know. I just thought it looked… majestic with the sun poking through like that.
Springtime in Niagara Falls, Ontario
The Ice Magic Festival at Lake Louise, Alberta

Alright, that’s enough of a photo spam for now. Next time: Germany, England, New York, Alaska and… probably a lot more of BC and Alberta. Let’s face it, the majority of my days are spent in BC and Alberta. This place is heaven on earth. What’s not to like? Well, there’s a lot not to like right now… but that’s a story for another day.


Thank you to each and every one of the #MillennialLifeCrisis Patreon supporters.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay home.

We can save our adventures for later.

XOX
Vee