Thursday, March 24, 2011

Winning

Well, I'm happy to say I have found my new car. My mom is going to sell me her Ford Fusion. It's actually a great win-win situation for both of us. I started to gear my search towards sedans (I'm oh so practical) and having a driven my own (leased) Fusion for 7 months, I knew the Fusion would be very ideal. My mom recently bought a fully-loaded 2007 Fusion with the highest trim level (V6 engine, heated leather seats, moon roof!). She also just bought a house and she's been stressed about being able to afford all her bills, mainly the car loan. A few weeks ago I was debating about whether to ask her if she'd sell the car to me, but wasn't sure. Two weeks ago the lease on my Fusion matured and my mom agreed to let me drive hers until I bought something. This week I started really getting serious about buying a car. I realized if I wanted a good price, I was going to have to go to Toronto to buy something. I have neither the time nor the desire to go to such trouble. So I asked her if she wanted to sell her car to me and I'd help her find something cheaper, and she agreed it was a good idea.

I'm really happy about it and look forward to transferring the ownership. Anthony's response about it was, "Dude, you're 24 and you're going to have a car with heated leather seats. Congrats."

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In other news, these past 2 days I was in London for work. Although it doesn't faze my coworkers, to me getting to go out of town for work is a huge treat. I never got to do these things up north so I just soak it all in now.

This was the second time I've had to go to London for work. It's kind of a strange experience being back in London. As you may know, I lived there for a year before moving to Nunavut. I absolutely hated living there. At the time I was working a crappy call centre job, taking the bus, living paycheque to paycheque. Life was dismal to say the least, and I felt like London was chewing me up and spitting me out. I felt like life was a game I was losing and honestly, most of the time I was there I was in a state of depression. I'm not exaggerating when I say I used to pray I'd get hit by a car so I wouldn't have to go to work (or come home). When I'd be crossing the street and a car came near me, I'd think, "Hit me hit me hit me hit me!" When I left, I never wanted to step foot in London again.

But now, much to my surprise, I'm back and my life isn't a losing battle anymore. Driving downtown to go to a meeting with other federal employees, I can't help but feel like I won the battle against London. Instead of the cold bus, I have my own car (with heated leather seats!). There's no minimum wage, instead I have a cushy unionized job. To be in London and everything in my life has done a 180 for the better is a pretty cool feeling. Yesterday during a boring point in the meeting, I took stock of the situation. Dress pants, loafers, a coffee in one hand and a pen in the other. Listening to people talk about government policy as it relates to our work. A stark difference from the days when I'd peel unwashed clothes off my bedroom floor, gather my dirty hair into a ponytail, head out for the bus and go to my crap job. Somehow I got pretty darn lucky. I feel really fortunate that I can come back as a successful person. I've come a long, long way and it makes me realize that even though my life sucked for awhile, I came out ahead and without that crap time, I wouldn't be where I am now. It's a great feeling.

The other cool part about going to London was I got to stay with Jen and her family for the night. She made a yummy dinner and then we had a few rounds of Carcassonne and Catan. Thanks again, Jen! It was fun!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Unupdate

I see my page hits have been up the last few days so clearly you want to read something from me. Nothing really noteworthy has happened, hence the lack of entries in the last 10 days. However, I would be happy to tell you about all the things going on with me lately.

1. I'm sick, for the second time in 30 days. I went from December 2008 to February 2011 without so much as a runny nose so I'm pretty irritated. I was doing a lot of running around in February and hardly had any days off so it was understandable then, but what about now? Lame. On Monday, everyone who was at work was sick, it was almost entertaining. Every time someone came in, we had this exchange:
Me: Good morning! How was your weekend?
Coworker: Meh, I came down with something.
Me: Yeah, me too.

By the third time it felt like I was in some kind of Abbott and Costello sketch.

2. I'm pretty much preoccupied with thoughts of buying a vehicle. I haven't been sleeping well lately and I've been waking myself up obsessing about buying a car. The whole process is stressing me out. I'm really trying to put a lot of thought into it but there are so many options and decisions to make, and I'm getting sick of thinking about it. Yesterday I noticed a Nissan X-Trail in our parking lot. I'd never seen one before but physically, it's exactly like what I'm looking for. Then I found out they don't sell them in the USA and there goes that idea. I need something that will accompany me to Michigan, and if something ever goes wrong with it and it requires X-Trail parts, it'll have to be brought back to Canada. That and the newer ones aren't even sold in Canada anymore, they've been replaced by the (somewhat ugly) Rogue.

This is basically how it's been. I'll think I've turned a corner into making somewhat of a decision, and then it blows up in my face.

On the plus side, I am becoming quite familiar with all the SUVs on the market. I've always liked cars so it helps a bit being genuinely interested in all the research I'm doing.

3. Hopefully starting next week, I'll be volunteering with the Host Program. I'll be paired up with a family who recently immigrated to Canada and would like some help getting acclimatized to life here. I'm a little nervous that I don't have much to offer, other than a keen desire to help.

4. I started my personal training sessions and it's pretty awesome. Having a personal trainer makes me feel rich and spoiled, none of which are true, but it's fun to pretend.

5. I'm not reading anything right now, but technically I have 3 books on the go. I should probably get around to finishing something. Still Alice by Lisa Genova was REALLY good but REALLY sad. The quote on the cover is correct; it's not a book I'll forget.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Livin' the Dream

In case you were wondering, my first REAL weekend was great. This was the first weekend I didn't have to book off work. Do you want to know how I spent the weekend? You won't be surprised: I slept. Saturday and Sunday (today) I woke up at 11:30 and both yesterday and today I took 2 long naps in the afternoon. It was marvelous.

Anyway, I had a very busy week!

I went out for dinner 4 times, 2 of which were for my sister's birthday. She's now the big 2-0 which is pretty crazy considering I was married and living in Nunavut when I was 20.

On Thursday, I woke up very early (6am!) and went to the gym. I just joined GoodLife and they have something called the TRX system. It costs extra to use it, but they're doing 1-hour trial sessions so you can see if you like it. The only appointment they had was for 6:30am and I decided it was a good idea. I was of course, really irritated with myself the night before and at 6am, but once I was at the gym, I was so glad I went. I really want to make pre-work workouts a regular thing, but it's incredibly difficult to get out of bed when you don't have to. I decided to buy a set of 6 personal training sessions and I told them I want to do them all at 6am. Having an appointment is the only way I'll get out of bed. I wish you could get gyms to give you wake-up and/or harassment calls. YMCA members used to tell me the same thing when I worked there. "Can I pay you to call me and tell me to get my butt here?" I would always just laugh, but it's so true.

After work on Thursday, I donated blood for the very first time. If you remember, donating blood was my new year's resolution. The nurses/volunteers all asked me why I decided to donate blood, and I told them it was my resolution for 2011. They all thought that was wonderful. All in all, an awesome experience and I will go back! It didn't really hurt and I didn't have any side effects at all. In the past when I've had to give blood samples at the doctor, I've felt sick and dizzy. I think it was probably all in my head before, because donating a pint of blood was nothing.

On Friday, I had to drive out to London for some training on software I use at work. It was a neat experience going into the headquarters office there and meeting people.

Of course, I can hardly go a month without another vehicle lesson. I wonder when I'll stop doing dumb things, but I have a good feeling it's never.

After my course, I went across the street to the other office we have in London. When I left, I came back and went into the parking garage where I parked. Although I lived in downtown London for a year, our offices aren't on blocks I used to frequent. I kept getting disoriented and not knowing which direction I was going. So anyway, I mindlessly went into the garage and went up to the third floor, where I had parked. After walking around the entire perimeter of the third floor, I realized my car wasn't there. I'm currently reading Still Alice, about a woman diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. So I was a little freaked out I was having some kind of neural episode. I went down to the second floor and walked around, now sweating and heart pounding, and still didn't see my car. I had visions of going to my lease-end appointment at the dealership on Friday and having no car to give back. "I lost it somewhere, but I'm sure it'll turn up!"

After about 10-15 minutes of frantic searching, I suddenly looked around me. I wasn't in the right parking garage. I looked out the side of the building and saw the parking garage I HAD parked in. Twelve dollars later I was on my way, and feeling a little more dumb than when I had arrived in London.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Some Days, Life is Just Good

Things are great here in Jaimeland! My and Anthony's trip to Traverse City was very relaxing, but we did get stuck in a blizzard on the way back which delayed us by about an hour. All in all a fun trip. I just love Traverse City. I need to get in the habit of taking more photos. Anthony and I have done a lot of cool stuff together, but we both aren't photo taking people.

In other news, my new job is going very well. It's everything I could want in a job, plus more. And by "more" I mean I have my own parking spot. The type of classification I have within the federal government means I will never have my own office, but I will sure as hell take a parking spot!

When I tell everybody where I'm working now, they tell me they didn't realize this particular federal office had a branch in Sarnia. When I first learned of it a few years ago, I was also surprised and curious, so it's pretty awesome I work there now. I never would have guessed I'd be lucky enough to do my job right here in my hometown.

Speaking of my hometown, part of me is shocked that I have coworkers. Who decided to transfer here to Sarnia. And some of them have been here for several years! And they like it here! I guess in a way, it flatters me because I'm from Sarnia and I love Sarnia. So when I meet people who desired a move to Sarnia, I'm like, "Really? You wanted to come here?!" One of my coworkers has been here for 10 years and he says he loves it here. I thought that was pretty awesome, it made me really happy.
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