Update: Apt, Exercise, Camp NaNo July ’15

So, it’s been a while. Since early May, in fact. Sorry about that, and hi, everyone! I hope life has been treating you as well as it’s been treating me.

This is going to be a fairly long post, which a number of different sections: about my new apartment, about Imber, about Camp NaNoWriMo for July 2015, and about exercising and how I’m doing with that. And pictures are included! (Luckily, I figured out how to do them as a gallery.) So I’m definitely putting it behind a “more” tag, and as you can see, I’ve added internal links to each of the sections to make it easier if you only want to read one or two of them at a time, and not have to go all the way through everything else….

Read onwards….

First Day: Camp NaNoWriMo July ’13 #3; and Cats

Well, the first day of Camp NaNoWriMo July 2013 is over, and I’ve managed to get 1,508 words written. I even increased my word count goal for Here and There to 45,000 from 35,000; and the goal for each day is to get 1,452 words written. So I reached today’s daily goal! Yay Me! Got started (and fairly well) on “First Day”; I’m about halfway through Ryuu’s part of that story.

Click for Pantser Badge – I fly by the seat of my pants when writing, for the most part – and details on my brother’s cats

Very Happy Birthday To Me! Plus SaR

Yes, it’s my birthday today. And I’ve had a wonderful one. My parents and I went out to the Classic Cafe East this morning for breakfast, then came home and I got my presents. {Hugs Mom & Dad!}

I then spent most of the rest of the morning and the beginning of the afternoon relaxing with Imber, and reading fanfic. (Specifically Vathara‘s story Embers, which though currently in progress [finally starting to near the end!], is a wonderful Avatar: TLA fic – especially for those who like Zuko, Iroh and Toph, and hard, realistic choices.) Then I went out to coffee with a friend, and finally came home and had dinner with my parents, my friend, and my brother, sister-in-law, and niece.

It was a really nice, quiet day, and I think it was exactly what I needed. So I’m both happy and content. (As well as tired. Didn’t sleep well last night due to writing high-induced insomnia.)

As well, for those who are interested, I managed to get a full 2 pages written on the re-write of Chapter 8 of Search and Rescue last night. I doubt I’ll write any tonight, but I’m back in writing mode! 🙂

‘Later, all!

😉 tag0

Welcome: New Blog Site

First of all, welcome, everyone, to the new site for tag’s Haven. I’d like to thank you all for following me here. Please, feel free to subscribe to my posts – the link is in the sidebar, just under my recent posts.

For those who are new and have followed a link here, Be Welcome! This is the blog where I talk about my life in general, moan and vent about the weather, and pre-publish my fanfic to get comments on it in order to improve it further before it goes to FFNet and tag’s Library for the wide world to see. 😉 (If you want to see the fanfic I’ve put up, links to all of it are available through the Fanfic page, as well as a bit of a summary.)

Over the next little while I’m going to be wandering around the ‘Net, changing the URLs of my blog everywhere I’ve put it up. But there is news, for anyone interested… see below. (Also, question re fic. Sorry, RK fans, not quite ready for updates yet, but have been reviewing and doing a bit more writing….)

Continue for more about me, my family, and fic….

“BiMonthly” Personal Update: Sat. Dec. 10/11

(Okay, so it’s Sunday. It was still Saturday when I wrote this.)

Hey, all.

So… I have apologies to make to everyone. I am terribly sorry that I’ve ended up getting so far behind on my weekly updates. It’s just… well, first I was busy working on getting ready for NaNoWriMo, then November hit and suddenly my stress levels went through the roof. Fans, picture a Sentinel starting to come online without a Guide. That’s what it felt like. My senses were starting to overwhelm me (random note: “whelm” means to cover with water, according to the Scrabble dictionary), particularly sight and hearing, and particularly at work. I’ve been wearing my yellow sunglasses and a bright pink (Fighting Breast Cancer pink) visor to work every day, to try to control the headaches from the CRT screens and the fluorescent lighting. And the noise… don’t get me started. Over the past week and a half or so, I’ve been using an earplug in my left ear (I keep the phone headset on my right) at work. It helps somewhat, but….

I ended up taking a week off work, doctor’s note included, at the end of November to the beginning of December, because my stress level was so high (taking sick days off work due to headaches and nausea, most of which could be put down to stress, and the rest of which could be put down to my senses, which contributed to the stress). It helped a huge amount, though my stress level still isn’t down where I’d like it to be. So, thanks to my lovely training supervisor (who is no longer my supervisor, except in a general sense during the late nights – I got moved to a new team at the beginning of December), I met with the scheduler, and I’ve cut back to 4 days a week, starting today – Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday – with slightly reduced hours and generally ending my shift at midnight (on the weekdays) or before 11 (on the weekends). (Except on the weekend after Christmas, which is bound to be busy – but given I’ve actually got Christmas Eve and Christmas off, I am not going to complain about that.)

On a lighter, better note, Imber is improving by leaps and bounds! She regularly comes up to the main floor of the house – she’s even been known to do so when I’m sleeping in my room – and while she still growls and snarls at Thor, the two of them spent last night in an uneasy truce (punctuated occasionally by said growls and snarls) on my bed. In fact, she is up here in the living room, where I’m typing this out, draped over my forearms asking for scritches, and generally making it hard to write. (Scratch that – Dad just came up, and made a remark, “Look at that baby!” and Imber rolled forward onto the arm of the chair. She doesn’t mind the other animals – except Thor – seeing her lying on her back, but Dad is a different matter. Not that she dislikes him, she’s just wary of someone so tall.)

So, back to the somewhat gloomy, but getting hopeful stuff: We’re looking to get me a local psychologist (though I’ve still got Dr. Garling on consult for a bit, in case it doesn’t work out) and I’ve got an appointment just before Christmas at the START Clinic, recommended to me by my Aspie friend (whom I’ve only seen once this past month! *pouts*), which will hopefully lead to a semi-rapid official diagnosis of Asperger’s. (The alternative is waiting 1-2 years to see a qualified psychiatrist, then waiting more time for the team to be assembled to render the diagnosis….) I’m also seeing an occupational therapist who has a very good method for working on getting me to focus on dealing with feeling unwell, and who is trying to get a consult with a specialist in sensory over-stimulation. (No guarantees on that one, but it’s worth a try!) Hoping the combination of these factors will get things resolved with reasonable rapidity – or at least get things on the road to being resolved. Dealing with mental health is, unfortunately, a years-long process.

Family news is, unfortunately, not as good. A few of you already know this (my family, namely), but my “adopted” aunt Gloria was admitted to hospital on Monday. She’s been fighting cancer (uterine and stomach, I believe) for several years, and it’s gotten fairly bad. They don’t think that she’ll live to see Christmas. She’s going to be going into Palliative Care as soon as there’s a bed free. Mom flew down to Toronto on Thursday, staying with Daphne’s friend, to see her, and is currently on her flight back here.

Hm. What other good news do I have to break the gloom?

Well, Daphne’s got her audiology hours finished, is waiting impatiently on the Praxis scores (they were supposed to be up last week), and has only her final anatomy exam, on Tuesday, to complete her anatomy course. She’s got paying work for the rest of the time she’s here in St. John’s, at least. I’ve had two interviews for more clerical type jobs (one with RONA, one with the Canadian Red Cross), and continue to send out resumes. Even with the problems I’ve been having, I’ve been able to continue to enjoy Scrabble Wednesdays, and this past week spent Tuesday evening (before and during making dinner) making cookies for the group. They were much appreciated by the family, at least, as well as the one member of the Scrabble group who decided to start nibbling before I had to leave at 12:30, and I found even the burnt ones quite addictive.

A wonderful link from my aunt:
Man With Autism Absolutely Stuns an Entire Crowd

Also, a Happy Belated Birthday to .

Thanks for your patience and continuing friendship, everyone.

‘Later, all!
😉 tag0

Quick Update and Imber

Hey, everyone.

First of all, sorry about going silent the last couple of weeks. I’m afraid that they haven’t been the best (last week I was at home Thursday and Friday with nasty migraine and feeling sick), and I couldn’t really think of much to say. I hope I’m getting things back on track now (certainly working on doing that with work and my NaNo novel)… but that’s not entirely why I’m writing.

As you might guess, looking at the subject line, I’m writing about Imber. My adorable, lovable, so brave kitten.

Who came upstairs – to the kitchen – to meet me when I came home from work tonight.

I was stunned. It’s still something of an effort to get Imber to come up to the den (1/2 level above my bedroom and unfinished “living room”); to get her upstairs to the main level, I’ve been carrying her every afternoon. (We have to go past other cats and Sancho, you see.)

Well, I get in this evening, and I come over to the door from the hall to the kitchen, glance downstairs to see that Dad’s still working… and Imber’s looking up at me from the bottom of the stairs. I crouched down and beckoned for her to come up, and lo and behold… that’s exactly what she did! She even came onto the kitchen floor from the stairs and over to me, so I lifted her up and cuddled her for a minute. Then I put her down on the kitchen table, she got down, and headed downstairs. But it’s a breakthrough! She’s never come up on her own before!

And it means a lot personally as well. She misses me when I’m gone, and waits impatiently for me to get back. She’s been mewing when I get in since about two weeks ago, when I had a call that lasted until 2:15 so was about 45 minutes late getting home. The next night, Imber was crying for me as soon as she heard the key in the lock.

Well, I’ve got to work on winding down now, but I wanted to let you all know that I’m not dead, and to share the marvelous news about Imber. I’m bouncing about it, and how I’m going to get to sleep tonight I don’t know….

‘Later, all!
😉 tag0

Posted in Cats, Life in General | Tagged , , | Leave a reply

Imber’s Adventures, Part The Second

Yes, she’s had another adventure – this one a lot more relaxing and pleasing for me than the last! Read all about it behind the LJ-cut (put because some people – for some reason that utterly escapes me – might not be interested in reading about my adorable little kitten)!

First of all, a little diagram of the floors of the house… it’s got four “half-floors”:

___2nd Fl_____
              ---
                _____1st Fl______
              ---
____Bsmt______
              ---
                ____SubBsmt______

My room, the “suite/main room” and the laundry room and furnace room are in the “SubBsmt” (sub-basement). The den, Dad’s study, and the downstairs bathroom with the cats’ food is in the “Bsmt”. The living room, the dining room, and the kitchen are on the “1st Fl”, and the rest of the bedrooms and the upstairs bathroom are on the “2nd Fl”. Since Imber and I arrived, she’s mainly stayed down in the sub-basement, mostly in my room, with the occasional foray up to the den (when none of the other animals were there, preferably – which is getting hard now, because the colder weather is setting in, and Thor, whom she hates with a passion, likes the den).

So, as mentioned in my weekly update last Sunday, I’ve started taking Imber up to the living room occasionally. I’m trying to do that a bit every day. A couple of days ago (Thursday night) while I was out at work, Imber apparently wandered up to the den where Mom, Dad and Daph were watching TV three times, including a visit out to the bathroom (the den is right off the stairs leading up from my “main suite”; the bathroom is down a short hall to the back). Good for her!

Well, I got home from work tonight and needed to use the washroom. Looking at Imber, I decided to see if I could coax her out, despite the fact that Thor was in the den and Mew was at the top of the stairs leading from the basement to the kitchen.

To my amazement, it worked! She didn’t even need that much coaxing! I was floored! (In a very, very pleased way, of course.) So she stayed in the washroom with me, then came out, and Mew was down at the bottom of the stairs to the kitchen, watching us. I blocked him with my feet as she slipped carefully around him (not without a hiss or two) and into the den.

Then I started to head up to the kitchen to make some hot chocolate (it’s getting cold here!). After a bit more coaxing, Imber decided to stay up in the den to wait for me; and then, to my astonishment, when I got up the stairs to the kitchen and turned to look, she’d settled in the doorway of the den, right across from Mew, and was just watching me!

At some point while I was waiting for the water to boil, Mew got up and wandered up to the top of the stairs – which luckily kept Sancho (the large dog) from bounding down them as soon as he saw Imber. Everything went surprisingly peacefully, and then when I started downstairs with my drink (and Sancho following me), Imber headed back down to my bedroom.

I’m really, really proud of her right now. She’s been so brave, it’s humbling. She is scared of the other animals, but she put that to one side to follow me. It means a lot. I know I shouldn’t compare her to Brightspot too much (though I still swear she has to be Brightspot’s next life) but that devotion reminds me of my Burmese demon-child. And yet there’s something in there that’s pure Imber, determined to prove herself fully capable to her Mommy-Cat. That cat doesn’t know the meaning of the term “physically handicapped”, and thank goodness for it!

Well, thanks for listening to me ramble on about my kitten. Weekly update coming later today.

😉 tag0

Posted in Cats | Tagged | Leave a reply

Weekly Update: Sunday Oct. 23/11

Okay, here’s the belated update for this past week. Sorry for the delay in getting it out, but, well… it’s been that kind of week, as you’ll read. It’s not going to be very long, because most of this week has been a blur and a half, and I don’t remember specifics.

Hm. In no particular order, the following happened:

Had a very enjoyable Scrabble game on Wednesday with the WAMUN group – I even managed to win a game! Yay me! 😉

Got a detailed response back on my Canada Writes story from my adopted uncle that echoed some things that my sister-in-law and one of my other uncles both said, so I’m planning to do some revising (AKA re-writing) during my free days this week, so I can send it in to the contest by the weekend. (It’s due in by 11:59pm ET on Nov.1.)

Um… brought Imber up to the living room a couple of times. The last time was early this afternoon, and I’m told she stayed up there for about an hour (a whole hour!) without me after I went down for a nap. I was very impressed by this, because she spent last Saturday or Sunday (whichever was the first day up there this past month) shivering the entire time. She even let Dad hold her for a while when I went in to make Mom some hot lemon with honey and answer the phone!

Right, that brings up another thing. Mom’s sick with a cold/the flu. Nasty sore throat, no energy, etc. She’s been sick since Friday (at least).

I have a few more ideas for my NaNo story, and am getting impatiently eager for November to start.

Work is… well, it’s been improved the past two days (yes, I’ve worked seven days in a row, and I’m working again “tomorrow” – Monday), but it was draining me this past week. I was having a lot of trouble with sleeping and depression – and headaches – and that was worrying me. We (my supervisor and I) now have an attack plan for part of what the problem’s been, which is part of the reason why the past two days (Sat. and Sun.) haven’t been too bad. Also, I got another 5 renewals this week in total, so that’s not too bad either. (And no, we don’t get commission on renewals, but we do get point awards, and you can buy things with points.)

We had Julia last night and this morning (Sat/Sun), and Dad, Daphne and I went to breakfast/brunch with her. That was nice. She was very chatty, and she’s started learning her lower-case letters (as opposed to just the capitals). She’s wanting to know how to spell everything even more now. And she was pointing out the various things that appear on my NaNoLand t-shirt, and having a ball doing so. This cheered me up a great deal.

I’ve resumed doing Tai Chi Chuan by myself, and am hoping that once my work schedule stabilizes, I’ll be able to get involved in the St. John’s chapter and actually go to weekly meetings for Tai Chi. I need it, based on the help it’s been so far the past couple of days.

Mom saw a physiotherapist for her rheumatoid arthritis earlier this week, and she might be able to get into a study on it. This would be a good thing, so we’re rooting for that. This might also mean that she wouldn’t have to go down to CR in November.

Huh. I guess there was a bit more to talk about than I thought. Well, that’s good. Hopefully there’ll be more details about what’s going on in my next update, and I’ll have pleasanter things to talk about. (Though some of my points were pleasant enough – like Imber and Mom possibly getting into a study.)

Okay, I’m wiped and really need to get some sleep. *sighs* Can’t wait until I have the seniority to move my schedule down a bit, so that I’d get home by about 9:30 or so. That wouldn’t be too bad. (On the other hand, after midnight, things get fairly quiet….)

‘Later, all!
😉 tag0

Weekly Update – Friday Sept. 16/11

Well, it’s been an exciting and surprising quick week for me this week. Third week of training for work (three more to go, and we’re down to six people, from eight), and we had our first weekly assessment on Tuesday. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, and the whole class passed. I was the only one to get 100%, so that was a nice bit.

Imber’s been getting braver; she’s starting to go up to the den on her own, rather than waiting for me to coax her. Sancho (the mutt) chased Imber on Wednesday when she had gone up there. *sighs* Imber also has it out for Mouse; for some reason, she seems to dislike Mouse intensely.

In terms of physical health, I seem to be doing well overall. I suspect I’ve lost a bit more weight over the last week, though I don’t have a scale to confirm that. I’ve also felt more energy (especially Tuesday and Wednesday!), so clearly the iron pills are working. Only thing really bothering me (in part because Sykes is a scent-free workplace) is my buggered up right knee and the occasional headache (note that they’re not as frequent). I plan to go to physio for my knee – the doctor’s given me a referral – I’m just waiting for my health insurance to kick in. (Not until 3 months at work, unfortunately!)

Speaking of insurance, I have got on the NLPDP (Newf & Labrador Prescription Drug Plan) but they won’t shell out at all for my anti-depressant (which is one of the two drugs that costs a few hundred dollars for 2-3 months’ worth). They’ll do it if used for neuropathic pain in diabetic patients, but not as an anti-depressant. *sigh*

However, in terms of mental and emotional health… well, honestly, I’m doing a lot better than I have been in a while. One of the reasons I was so pumped up Tuesday and Wednesday was the fact that… well, first of all, the assessment test at work. Secondly, Tuesday night was my first meeting of the Adult Aspergers Support Group – and it went wonderfully. It was… I don’t know how to describe it in short form. It was like meeting someone you’ve known for ages without realizing it. It was seriously relaxing. So I was right bouncy Tuesday and Wednesday.

Other than that… well, we’re suffering the ravages of the approaching Hurricane Maria right now. It made landfall at St. Mary’s Bay at 3:30 our time, and Mom figures it’ll hit here within the half hour (it’s currently ten to five here). The winds following it, though, are due to be the worst of it. Steady winds of 95 km/h with gusts of up to 130 km/h, and the soil here has been softened by the rain we’ve been receiving since the middle of last night (though not as much as they were predicting, because apparently the hurricane is travelling north faster than they thought, and the faster it is, the less rain it drops on the areas it goes over), so there’s concern about the trees. That’s why I’m sending this so early, so that if the power does go out, at least you’ll have received my update on time. It’s fairly important to me to make this as regular as possible.

Anyway, that was my week. How have you been? I very eagerly await the news from you.

‘Later all,
😉 tag0

Weekly Update – Friday Sept. 09/11

And… it’s Friday again!

Well, it’s been a long week, despite the fact that Labour Day was on Monday (thus no work). I must admit that I’m rather glad it’s Friday, and not just because I got paid this morning (;)). During this week, I have discovered that I am (again) low-iron anemic (which may explain part of why I’ve ended up so tired the last week and a half or so), and Imber has gotten braver at following me out of my room.

Work has gone well. I’m finding that despite my tiredness, I’m enjoying the training – in large part because our trainer, Heather, is very enthusiastic and tries to make things interesting for us. (Glitter. Glitter everywhere. *snrks*) We’ve been learning this week about phone manufacturers (if you want a durable cellular phone, Samsung, Apple, or Nokia are your best bets), and about phones themselves. We’ve started learning about other products as well, and some of the service plans Rogers offers.

Hm. Other than that… my niece was here until Tuesday afternoon. We had a reasonably good weekend, though the weather has gotten a bit more towards “St. John’s normal” (i.e. colder and greyer) this week – though today ended up warm (to me) and sunny…. Note that the temperatures in St. John’s do feel a bit cooler than the same temperatures in Toronto, probably because of the difference in humidity and how it reacts. Not that I mind! (No, the only thing I mind is the fact that the training room’s air conditioner has to be broken – Heather insists it’s 21°C and we’re all freezing, or nearly so!)

I’ve lost some weight since I got here, which is good. The everyday walking I’m doing is helping with that, definitely.

What else? Nothing much, really. I’ve been busy with work and with dealing with my exhaustion, and cooking the occasional dinner. I’m really hoping that I’ll get some writing done this coming week, because I haven’t written a word in weeks, and it’s beginning to really get to me.

The good news is that my sister-in-law has been dragged into NaNoWriMo, and we’re going to meet up Sunday so she can pick my brain about it. Ought to be fun – window-shopping followed by coffee/tea!

Oh… and I’ve gotten into Twitter. Not going to use it much, but if any friends of mine out there are also on and want to follow me… there’s a link over to the side!

Hope you’ve all had a good week as well!

‘Later,
😉 tag0

Weekly Update – Friday Sept. 02/11

Okay, weekly update time. Like I said, I’m going to try to do this every week.

This one’s not a long one; just… it’s been a long, exhausting week, mostly because of the training (the first two and a half days, we were sitting listening to and watching speeches and PowerPoints, and doing paperwork; it’s only in the last couple of days that we’ve started doing things, like training on the systems we’ll be using).

Imber continues to get a bit bolder, and we’re now finding her semi-frequently in the “main room” of my “suite”, or in the laundry room, rather than just in my bedroom. This is a good thing. Now we need to get her up to the level of the den, the basement bathroom, and the food and litter box that are around the bathroom (food inside, to dissuade Quixote, the cocker, from getting at it; litter box(es) outside so that the bathroom can be used). So that’s the project for the next two weeks, I think.

Hm. Not really all that much else to say, save that my younger niece has been staying with us since Wednesday evening, and will be here until/including Monday, since my brother and sister-in-law are camping. And I don’t have to go into work on Monday because it’s Labour Day (though I don’t get paid for it either). Yay, sleep-in time!

*shrugs* If I think of anything else, I’ll add another entry.

See you next week!

😉 tag0

Posted in Cats, Life in General | Tagged , , | Leave a reply

Imber’s “Great Adventure”

If you’re interested in finding out about Imber’s so-called “Great Adventure” (and how scared I was), feel free to read on. Telling it helps exorcise the fear – and express delight at the resolution. Included are some details about taking her on the flight.

Imber’s Great Adventure

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Goold Zoo | Tagged , , | Leave a reply

NaNo: Halfway Mark

I have officially passed the halfway word count mark (and got cheered by all the fellow Toronto NaNoers who were participating in the subway writing session this afternoon – that was fun!). I’m now at 26.5K words. Over 53 percent done. In 30 percent of the time allotted. I’d say I’m doing really well for a newbie.

Of course, Brightspot has practically taken over all of Chp. 4 written so far (thus the not-usual NaNo User Pic); if this keeps up, she’s going to become as major a character as my protagonists. This wouldn’t be terribly bad… if it weren’t for the fact that I wasn’t expecting her to come in until the (possible) sequel….

Anyway, I’m having a great time with this, both the writing itself and the social aspect. (And the competition doesn’t hurt – I’m on the Word War team and we are beating Vancouver….)

Later, all!

😉 tag0

Major Update

Lots of changes since my last post.

– We now know what’s wrong with my hand (ref: Ugh. Hand Is A Problem. from April). I’ve got a frayed ligament in the wrist. So splint, zinc tablets, and rest.

– Secondly – remember my absence from LJ last summer, when I had trouble walking and the final diagnosis was nerve damage? Well, guess what happened to me the early morning of June 24th. Same symptoms (except for no physical shakiness) – but it’s not the same diagnosis. I’ve had a brain & spine MRI, an electromyograph (AKA nerve conduction test), a chest x-ray, some blood tests, spent 5 days in hospital getting this done… and no one knows what’s wrong. And it’s not got any better. So as of today I’m back on short-term disability, since there’s no way I could respond with any speed in an emergency (I can’t even attempt running), which is a major part of a security officer’s mandate. *heavy sigh*

– Mitzy, my elderly but still active Burmese inherited from my youngest siblings, was put to sleep due to a major chest and stomach lymphoma (cancer) on July 21. Still miss her. She lived a good life, though; she was 15-1/2.

– And introducing Imber, a now 7-month old kitten adopted from Toronto Animal Services on Aug. 1. She’s a grey and cream tabby who is missing half her right hind leg (pretty sure she was born without it). The userpic attached to this post is of her the morning after I brought her home. (“Imber”, FYI, is Latin for “rain storm”. Her coat looks like a storm cloud….)

As for upcoming news:

– One of my best friends, Loui, is going to be visiting for a week at the end of September, four days of which will be spent in Montreal. I’m really looking forward to it.

– Given I’m likely to have some time on my hands for a while, I’m not only looking at possibly doing a university course or two, but have gone and done the inevitable – I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo 2008. I’m planning on doing an original SF novel (tentatively entitled Search & Rescue).

Anyway, that’s basically everything from the last few months. *sigh*

😉 tag0
(working on keeping my mood up)

Flying On A Jet Plane…

Well, I suppose an Airbus 319 is close enough…

Okay, here we go – the story of my trip from about the time I left you 9 hours ago…

The boarding pass for my flight said Gate 4. Given that last year, the pass said Gate 4B, and it ended up being Gate 4A1 (which is a floor below Gates 1-5 & 4B), at about 1:15 pm (more or less) I checked the gate with Customer Service, who confirmed that it was definitely Gate 4.

About 5 minutes later, an announcement comes over the PA system to say that flight AC 999 from San José to Toronto was leaving from Gate 4A1, as opposed to Gate 4. I had to laugh.

Turns out that we were actually leaving from Gate 4A3, but since that’s just across a small room from 4A1, the only problem were the crowds (Gate 4A1 was actually a Taca flight going to Guatemala, and Gate 4A2 was the Lacsa flight going San Salvador-Toronto).

Spent the 25-30 minutes waiting for my particular boarding call chatting to a man who was on my flight; he’d been in Costa Rica for 9 days, mostly on business that had involved also going to Belize and Guatemala. We had a pleasant conversation.

Then, when I got into my seat, I was seated next to an older couple who’d been on vacation. We got to talking about our trips, a bit of where we’d gone (they’d visited Arenal – one of Costa Rica’s active volcanoes – and actually had a clear view of the top the first morning they were there), and then got a surprise.

Turns out that they live about only two blocks south and six to eight blocks east of me!

We definitely had some turbulence, both taking off (a bit, not nearly as much as we did landing in CR) and during the flight, but it didn’t really bother me that much. (Experienced flyer here…) The flight was fairly enjoyable overall, and I actually managed to (*gasp*) get another page and a half of RuroSen written!

When we arrived at Pearson (we reached the gate at 8:45 pm), it turned out that we were actually in the main building of Terminal 1 (as opposed to the temporary building out in the middle of the runway area, which takes a 10-15 shuttle bus ride to reach), at Gate 155. Went through Customs, which took about 10 minutes or so – I was right behind the couple I’d been sitting next to – part of which was used up being entertained by the very excited dog sniffing for drugs (he was bouncing around all over the place!). Got my luggage fairly quickly (my largest suitcase came by just as I reached the carousel, so I managed to grab it quickly, and then it was another rotation and a bit to get my other suitcase), and was through the last checkpoint and out by the taxis just before 9:15 pm. Less than half an hour all told – better than my last two trips from CR! (The first one, one of my suitcases had been grabbed and moved over to the claim area in the back, so I waited at the carousel for about 40 minutes for it to show up before going to report it lost; last year, I ended up having my suitcases checked – random spot check, I suspect – before I could leave the baggage claim area.)

Got home half an hour ago, and after about 30 seconds of staring at me (Dad, you were right on the timing!) I had both cats coming up to me for attention; right now, Mitzy’s on my lap (trying to make sure that I’m not paying too much attention to the computer), and Aspen is stretched out over the back of my chair (her favourite place to be when I’m sitting there).

Well, I’m tired; going to quickly eat my dinner (the sandwich Mom packed for me), put away a few things, and then go curl up in bed. Off to breakfast/brunch/coffee tomorrow with one aunt, and then the same again with another on Friday (we’re not going all together due to scheduling difficulties), to tell them all the details and show all the pictures… *G*

RuroSen Chapter 3 will be posted tomorrow. RuroBatt/Edge of the Blade Chapter 3.4 will most likely be posted either Friday or Saturday.

Later, all!

😉 tag0

Cats & Rambles

This is what is called posting for the sake of posting. Well, mostly, anyway…

Regarding Cats: Mitzy (see entry pic) is an adorable little Burmese cat. And I do mean “adorable”, despite the fact that some of her habits (like trying to lie on my face when I’m attempting to sleep, and sucking on stuffed animals, electric blankets, etc., and licking the sides of the plastic laundry hampers, for example) drive me crazy.

Unfortunately, over the past two or three weeks she has developed yet another habit that drives me nuts.

I’m used to Burmese lying across my shoulders – that was one of Brightspot’s favourite perches, as it happens. And Mitzy generally liked to be lifted up to hang over one shoulder facing behind me. But lately, she’s been climbing onto my shoulders while I’m sitting in my chair, and draping her forepaws and the front part of her torso over my chest, for all the world as if she’s reading what’s on my computer screen. And it’s driving me bonkers! *sigh*

Of course, Mitzy’s bonkers anyway… Sweet-tempered, but definitely “not all there” at times…

As for other things:

First of all, a belated Happy 23rd to my sister Daphne…

Secondly, a belated Happy B-Day to stormheller!

Thirdly… hoping to have another chapter/part of either RuroBatt/Edge of the Blade or RuroSen: A Strange Partnership to post soon…

Fourth – anyone know any good ways to deal with headaches without taking drugs? (Currently having the occasional dose of Tylenol Migraine, since it seems to help, and I can’t have anything with aspirin due to the medication I take for my TMJ/osteoarthritis.) Other than sleep, that is. I’ve had a fairly good winter so far with respect to headaches, but lately… *sigh*

Fifth: I’m leaving for Costa Rica for just over two weeks on Monday the 20th. Will probably upload the occasional update (or maybe more frequent – I like Costa Rica, and I generally tend to relax there)… I’m really looking forward to it. And I may even get slightly warmer weather than last year, given that this year, I’m going down about 2 weeks later… (And will hopefully not come back to a nasty snowstorm here in T.O., given it will be into the second week of March by that time…)

Okay, that’s about it for now…

Talk to you soon!
😉 tag0

Brightspot – Kitten, Cat, Beloved Confidante

Brightspot
Brightspot Goold

Today is the first anniversary of Brightspot’s death. I found myself a bit worried about how I was going to handle the day, considering how much I still miss her.

As it happens, it was also Day 3 of Toronto Trek, and I managed to keep busy enough that I didn’t even think about it. I don’t think Brightspot would have objected – in fact, I know that she would have wanted me to be happy, to celebrate my memories of her life. She was like that.

I still miss her dearly. I shall always miss her dearly; she holds a special place in my heart. We grew up together throughout my adolescence and young adulthood, and she was (as the subject states) my confidante as well as my beloved friend and pet. But the fact remains that life does go on, and I have two other wonderful cats who are special to me in their own ways. No other pet can or will take Brightspot’s place in my life – but I have other places for them to occupy.

Kitten, Demon-Child, Sweetheart… I shall always love you and miss you, Brightspot. You are in my heart forever. And I think you would (do, perhaps?) approve of Aspen – she certainly keeps Mitzy on her toes!

Posted in Cats, Grief | Tagged , , | 1 Reply

Almost Done…

Well, almost done this shift… Only another 10 minutes to go.

It’s been a long one… The school I work at was hosting the Fulford Debates today, and because of the fact that people were coming and going almost constantly during them, I had to stay at the desk for the first half of my shift. Added to that, it was supposed to end at 4:00pm. Note the “supposed to”. In fact, it didn’t end until after 4:30 – and then we had students trickling out for the next 1/2 hr to 45 mins… (*sigh*)

So I didn’t get to do any patrols until my shift was almost 2/3 over – and then, both the patrols I did manage to get done were interrupted by students needing access to the school to get things they’d forgotten in their lockers yesterday… (*sigh*x2)

Oh, well… almost done… I want to go home, check Aspen’s paw (it got cut yesterday), and curl up in bed…

At least tomorrow will be quiet. Just brunch, and then work at 11pm…

Posted in Cats, Work | Tagged , | 1 Reply

More Random Ramblings…

Well, I’m working tomorrow – 12 hr. shift. Volunteered for it, since our weekend person is taking the day off (the week before she leaves, actually), and am hoping to get at least a bit of creative work done among the patrols and keeping an eye on the people there for the Fulford debate…

Plus, my knee is buggered all to hell right now. I occasionally have this problem where my kneecap(s) decide(s) it/they don’t like the position they’re supposed to be in, so it/they shift slightly. Not fun for walking places… and even less fun for handling stairs (of which I have to walk up 2-1/2 flights to get to my apartment). Luckily, it’s not too bad at the moment, and having a cane handy is pretty much enough to deal with it.

Had breakfast with my “adopted” aunt this morning – met her after work. Had a nice, long chat (we spent about 2 hrs. there, all told) and she told me all about the 2 weeks in Costa Rica visiting my parents that she just came back from on Monday. She had a great time, and it sounds like it was as relaxing for her as it was for me (which was definitely nice). And apparently the cat toys I picked up in an effort to replace the knitted mouse that Gypsy (the new puppy) took a liking to were a real success – she said all four of the cats loved them. (And given that only two of them played with the knitted mouse, that’s not bad!)

Okay, that’s about it for the random ramblings… got to have something to eat, take my tablets, relax for a bit, and head back to bed so I can head into work for 11 tomorrow morning…

Later!

Weather… & Gypsy

Well, I’ve been in Toronto for just over 48 hours (plane landed at 8:38pm Saturday)… and wouldn’t you know it, 24 hours after I arrived, we were having a snowstorm! *sigh* I’m not yet re-acclimated to this weather!

On the other hand, now that my grandmother is down there and so already knows, I can explain the interesting news that I mentioned last week…

The Goold Zoo v2.3 consists of 7 animals (I’m not counting the contents of the fishpond!): the cats Scrapper, Mouse, Thor, and No Se; and the dogs Quixote (de la Rancho), Sancho (Panza), and Misho. As of last Sunday (the 13th), Mom & Dad are now on Goold Zoo v2.4, with the addition of the female German Shepherd puppy Gypsy.

She’s an absolutely adorable little beast, particularly in the way she and Sancho have taken to each other (almost the moment he met her, Sancho became a proud adopted papa). The cocker spaniels aren’t quite as enthused about her, though by the time I left, Quixote was warming up to her, and the cats don’t understand that when she crouches down and barks at them, she’s asking them to play, but all told she’s fitting in well. (She was actually taken from her mother too early, which we only found out on Tuesday – she was five weeks old and weaned, but only just – but has adapted wonderfully. Sancho has definitely helped with that…)

I’ll be uploading pictures as soon as I get my film developed (about half or more of the two rolls I took is of the Goold Zoo), so you’ll be able to see her…

I’m missing them already (the Zoo v2.4 and my parents, as well as a few people I made friends with down there), but my version of the Goold Zoo (Mitzy and Aspen) were very pleased to see me back. Aspen’s barely stopped purring since I arrived, and Mitzy is doing the whole “not letting you out of my sight” thing – which is very irritating when I’m trying to type… *sigh*

Later, all!

Hello From Costa Rica…

Well, I made it! I am now here in Costa Rica, watching the beginning of a lovely sunset from my parents’ study window, having met the new members of the Goold Zoo v2.3, and greeted the old ones (and got my Scrappy-Cuddles in! He was delighted to see me…).

Won’t be online as often while I’m down here (each call costs, plus time costs), but I will be on every couple of days at the very least.

It’s so lovely and warm here… even Mom & Dad’s place, which is cooler than San José (which was actually 20C when I arrived, at 1:15pm local time, not 27C). Just what I need, I think, to de-stress. And I’ve got two weeks of it… *smiles dreamily*

Hoping to get quite a bit of writing done while I’m here. Last time I was in Costa Rica, I wrote quite a bit of HP fic, including the beginning of Harry Potter and the Sensitive’s Gift. This time, I hope to work on RuroBatt, Eye of the Storm, Harry Potter and the Sensitive’s Gift, another RuroKen story that Kenshin and Saitô have shoved down the connection between my brain and the infamous Plot Bunny Corral, and one of my original stories. But the primary purpose in being here is to enjoy time with my parents, relax, and de-stress, so those have priority.

Later, all!

Countdown to Costa Rica: 1…

Well, it’s now less than 24 hours until I leave; just over 26 hours until I’m due to land in San José (which is apparently due to be 27C tomorrow). *bounces excitedly again*

So looking forward to seeing my parents again, and visiting CR for the second time… I really can’t wait to go. And I’m looking forward to the opportunity for Scrappy-Cuddles – I miss Scrapper. Haven’t seen him since Christmas/New Year’s 2002/2003. And Mouse too, of course (though I’ve never really cuddled Mouse…). Not to mention meeting the new cats: Thor and No Se; and the dogs: Don Quixote de la Rancho, Sancho Panza, and Misho…

Now, I’ve just got to get packing…

Laughter Is The Best Medicine…

Well, looks like Mom found something to cheer me up so I wouldn’t be thinking so much about the fact that it was -36C out last night at work, and even when I left work, it was still -34C (note: This is with wind-chill), and it’s not due to be that much better tonight. Looking forward to tomorrow, which at the moment is due to have a high of 2C.

I was trying to read this out loud to Mitzy and Aspen, and got to #13 before I couldn’t continue for laughing so hard…

Feline-lovers – and feline-haters – take a look!

Cats, Weather, & Walking

Well, I ended up in a much better mood about an hour after my last entry, thanks to some fic. Good fic is a cure for a lot of things.

This is just basically a ramble… I just got home and am in a bit of weird mood.

Aspen-Cuddles are officially a success! She’s looking for them every day or two, and when I picked her up a few minutes ago to give her one of said cuddles, she started purring before I had her against my chest! In other words, she was still in the air! So pleased about that…

Weather… well, what can I say about the weather, other than the fact that it sucks? Although at least it’s actually being consistent: It snowed yesterday, and was originally supposed to be going up to 7 degrees Celsius today. (Okay, just heard that it’s supposed to now eventually go up to 8, not 7…) This morning it was snowing. *shakes head*

And I wonder why I always tend to like to walk in the winter, considering that I hate the cold as much as I hate Toronto’s summer heat? I walked the 25-minute walk to the subway station both yesterday and today, rather than taking the bus (which comes every 5-9 minutes between 7 and 8 am), which is about a 6-minute ride. (See note above concerning weather.) *shakes head again* There are times when I really don’t understand myself…

Aspen & Mitzy…

Well, we’ve had some surprising progress (by accident) between Aspen and Mitzy…

Aspen (although not a lap cat) likes to curl up on the back of my chair, while Mitzy generally curls up either in my lap, or – if I’m on the computer – right next to me, between my hip and the arm of my chair.

However, this evening, Mitzy had claimed the back of the chair before I even sat down in it. So when Aspen came up, wanting to settle up there with me, she found Mitzy already there, and ready to snap at her.

Finally, Mitzy, turned around to face the other side of the room, and ended up leaving just enough space for Aspen to jump up. It took a few minutes of disagreement and snapping at each other, but they’re currently both curled up there. Not really curled up together, just right next to each other, but it’s definitely progress in their relationship.

Edit at 11:55pm: Wow! Mitzy just turned around and laid her head against Aspen’s side! So I change my above statement – now they are curled up together!

Scrappy- & Aspen-Cuddles

Don’t know whether my family remembers how I got Scrapper – our large male cat who (at the time) disdained both laps and being lifted, and who now lives with my parents in Costa Rica and fights with Mouse and the new kittens over possession of their laps – to enjoy being picked up and hugged, but I seem to have worked my magic on Aspen as well.

Aspen, who will not settle on a lap (though she doesn’t mind walking on one to get attention – she just walks across and doesn’t lie down) and who has objected fairly strenuously to being lifted since I got her, was sitting in the kitchen today, near her food bowls, but not paying any attention to them. She was just staring up at me. (Mom, Dad, kids, sound familiar? Like Scrapper looking for the aforementioned Scrappy-Cuddles.) I finally picked her up and cuddled her, and she stayed in my arms being petted and cuddled for a good minute or so, purring, before she decided that enough was enough, and it was time to think about getting down.

Success is mine! *G*

Pick them up, give them a cuddle and a scritch just where they like it, and let them down as soon as they start to try jumping – works every time! (I just thought it was going to take a little while longer with Aspen.) So now I’ve got another cat looking to me for the occasional cuddling – feels pretty good. I miss my Scrappy-Cuddles dreadfully sometimes.

Posted in Cats | Tagged , , | Leave a reply

Die Parents & Katzen

Well, the parents have visited, seen Mitzy, and met Aspen…

Seems I have no need to worry about Aspen’s reaction to guests – she was approaching Mom to greet her the minute she walked in the door, and wandering around them getting attention for their entire visit…

Well, heading off to bed now – going to dinner with the parents tonight, so I’ve got to sleep beforehand. Then it’ll be the remainder of Plan: Finish That Blasted Story Before the Deadline at work tonight…

Posted in Cats, Family | Tagged , , , | Leave a reply

On The Contrary Nature of Cats…

Okay, I got home from work this afternoon, and Aspen proceeded to act true to feline nature… She licked me more than she has in the past month, and started headbutting my arm for attention. I now know not to post anything about her behaviour unless I’m certain it’s not something she’s going to change.

Heading off to bed now…

Posted in Cats | Tagged , | Leave a reply

Working Late, Parents, & Observations on Cats

Working late today, as my supervisor is off on vacation, so the rest of us are filling in when we can. Working late tomorrow as well. Definitely going to be exhausted, despite the duty not being overly onerous – 12-1/2 hours can take it out of one. Oh well – as of noon tomorrow, I’ll be enjoying my weekend, and I don’t have to work Saturday this week, so that’s a good thing… especially as I have to finish cleaning my apartment.

My parents are visiting (arrived in T.O. Tuesday night), and are coming over early Sunday afternoon – to see Mitzy and meet Aspen – so the place has to at least look neat, rather than the… ahem… mess it is now…

And speaking of my cats, I’ve found a rather interesting thing… Aspen (the new one – see CPR, AED, Cats, and Rec Pages from Nov. 13th) treats me unlike any other cat the family or I have had. Brightspot was a friend I grew up with (and am still mourning) and was very definitely my owner; to Mitzy I’m a lap, comfortable knees, and a means to get the attention that she is owed by right; and Aspen seems to regard me as a giant cat with opposable thumbs. It’s weird – she treats me exactly as though I were a cat (butting her head at my forehead to show affection – rather than a headbutt at my stomach or a hand to demand attention), giving me the same sort of treatment she gives Mitzy (though I don’t get licked nearly as much – Aspen licking me is much more rare than seeing her lick Mitzy). It makes for some interesting observations on feline behaviour. She really is an adorable little beast, who is becoming more and more affectionate faster than I had thought she would (having grown up on the streets).

CPR, AED, Cats, And Rec Pages

Just general posting here… Had to do a CPR refresher & AED training course today, for work (AED: basically the public defibrillators that are in malls, rec centres, municipal buildings, etc.). The trainer kept things interesting, and I actually didn’t mind taking time out of my day to do it.

Got home, and figured it was very definitely time to trim the cats’ claws. Mitzy was, as usual, fairly complacent about it (well, as complacent as she ever gets about my hands manipulating her paws). Aspen (the newest: two-year old stray acquired from the Toronto Humane Society on July 30th), whose last claw trimming was the week I brought her home, and took two days and four attempts, objected semi-violently to me doing her first paw. After that, however, it went surprisingly smoothly – especially considering that Aspen is not a lap cat. So I have reasonable hopes for the next time I have to do it.

I then found out that my long (most likely novel-length) Harry Potter WIP, Harry Potter and the Sensitive’s Gift, has been added to a rec page of Snape/Harry Mentor, Guardian, Father/Son, Master/Apprentice, etc. stories, with a rating by the site owner of 5 chocolate frogs (her highest)! Found myself extremely flattered by that. If anyone’s interested, the rec page URL is Potions and Snitches, and my story is available at my Fanfiction.Net account – t.a.g.0, or directly at Harry Potter and the Sensitive’s Gift.