I’m the “Oh Canada” Contributor on Squidoo… Now What?

I was happy to become the “Oh Canada” Contributor on the Squidoo network site. I like writing about Canadian culture, history and so on. But, the more I write and post over there the more disappointed I am feeling. Almost none of my Canadian posts are keeping afloat enough (in traffic and reposts) for them to stop sinking to the bottom of the tank (tanking them, literally).

Within a month of being posted half of them are in the red. It is discouraging. I don’t like losing the time I put into them but more than that, I feel sad that not enough people care about any of it. I’ve written about Canadian things like movies and TV shows. Those are popular posts for the US TV and movies. But, not the Canadian content.

Anyway, I am going to begin moving them here. Someone (other than myself) may some day find them and be glad to have found out more about our Canadian content, people and so on and so forth.

Freeing Exotic Fish is Hazardous

In the US the snakehead fish is a big problem. Any of them caught are to be kept out of the water, killed, eaten, turned into compost, etc. However, you can now buy them in pet stores and, of course, on the Internet. Take them home, set them up in a tank. Then, when they get too big for your tank, or when you’re just seen enough of them – what happens then? Want to take a guess? They go back into the water, not the water of the fish tank. Not the toilet tank (they’re too big to flush). They go back into the ecosystem, the very place we are trying to keep them out of.

How stupid are people to know this fish is a hazard (to buy it for that reason) and then dump it out to grow and breed in the lakes, rivers and other waters where it does not belong.

From the Invading Species website:

The release of aquarium pets into Ontario waters is illegal. You can help prevent the spread of non-native (exotic) aquatic species by doing the following:

  • Never release or flush unwanted aquarium pets or aquarium water into natural waters, drainage ditches or sewers.
  • Drain aquarium water on dry land.
  • Return or donate unwanted aquarium fish, reptiles, snails and plants to a pet store or a school.

Thursday Thirteen #4: Car is Me

Thirteen reasons to have a car:

1. Support the insurance and banking industries so they can keep building skyscrapers to support the construction industry.

2. Road trips!

3. The smell of gas as you fill the tank.

4. Avoiding waiting outside for buses that are always late and later.

5. Those little mirrors are really good for plucking eyebrows and those irritating facial hairs we don’t admit we get.

6. You’re not a vulnerable, squishy pedestrian.

7. You get your picture on a license.

8. You can pack a lot more shopping into a car than you can carry on the bus.

9. You can take a lot of junk out of your purse and stash it in your car instead.

10. The radio sounds better when you’re driving.

11. At night you can pretend you’re famous and stand in the beam of your headlights. (Like I’m really the only one who has done that!)

12. If you run away from home (or need some other quick get away) you don’t have to stick around waiting for the bus.

13. It gives you something to put all those bumper stickers on.

Unexpected News from a Fortune Cookie

Good cheer will lighten your burdens

I have the good cheer is that why I keep getting burdens? Funny how a fortune cookie just gives you these little tidbits and leaves you hanging for the real answers.

Things are slow in the man-stalking project. I found his postal code but no apartment number. Kind of useless to send a card that way. I was writing out my Xmas cards (just addressing the envelopes so far) and I do still have three blank ones. One could be sent to Mr. Pirate Smile. If I knew his full address. I have two days off work starting now pretty much. I was thinking about taking the bus out to Zellers and seeing if Mr. Pirate Smiley’s place is on that part of the street. I could just wander into the lobby and take a look for the mailbox of a certain pirate. I don’t think you can get arrested for that. Funny to be concerned when here I am Madame Trespasser when it comes to the abandoned houses.

I know I’m not the only romantic geek woman. But, it does seem silly to create a whole scene in my mind where the pirate smile and the trespasser are making muffins at home on a cold winter’s day. It was nice. Fun and he was quite lovely. Not a great baker… but he smiled a lot and that made up for his lack of skill with muffins. Silly, but it was nice. Something to do when you’re pretty much stuck at work for 8 hours. Better than thinking about how aggravating it is to be without a car, still.

Also, in spite of what they tell you, I don’t see how taking the bus/ taxi route is saving money compare to having a car. I’m spending $20 a day for bus/taxi to get back and forth to work. A tank of gas for the car might be more than that but it would last a lot longer than one day. I could even get to the grocery store, take a road trip and still have enough gas for the week of going back and forth to work. I wish my brother would get the lead out of his tank and let me get on with the car situation. I think I’m going to end up not having a driver’s license at all. I have to go back to the teen/ beginner class and do the written test if I can’t get the road test done by my birthday. I can’t see myself passing that written test. I lucked out taking it in the US the first time. It was pretty simple and even then I didn’t pass with flying colours.

Life is frustrating right now and then you start your period. Oh goodie. At least I’m not totally depressed like I was last night. Should have known it was going to start when I was that down. So close to just getting up and leaving at work, last night. Just thinking about the car and license stuff… Payday is Friday. If I can I wonder if I could just buy something myself. Not sure how to do it at all. I’d have less than a thousand but it would be cash. I could do payments with someone other than Graham. After all, last thing he really seemed to say about it was that he would start looking again when the weather cleared up. And… it’s WINTER! When does that mean he is going to leave it till, spring thaw??? I will go insane long before then. I’m sure I will quit the job. I have spending so much on getting there and then not being able to do anything. Like being caught in a prison just cause I don’t want to spend so much on a taxi or freeze waiting for buses that always take half an hour to come no matter when you get to the bus stop.

I think I should just go for the coffee making now. Thinking about all this will keep me up anyway. Sleep is so over rated. I bet pirate smile is sleeping now…

Peanut Butter as Caviar

I’m getting tired of my body inflicting hunger upon me. Can’t I just out grow these annoying things like having to sleep and eat. They take up so much time. Plus, I’ve already got enough storage that my body should be able to just shut up and leave me alone about eating more of anything for awhile. I even gave it a buttered bagel tonight. Give it a rest already!

I have a day off tomorrow. It feels that way even though I am pretty much unemployed and just coasting along in my own afterlife. It has been good being busy and having a schedule to stick to this week. I know I need that I just don’t do very well at creating a schedule for myself, on my own. But, tomorrow there is no workshop. I did get a job offer today. I’m not sure about the facts, other than it is for some web content and general web geekery to get a site off the ground. I won’t say much else till I have more hard facts. But, it would be a part time thing, a paying part time thing which is a nice step up from all the non-paying part time things.

Also, there is a really terrific job I am going to apply for. But, when I research the company and the other people working there (although as directors and assorted bigshot titles) I feel I am peanut butter in a world of caviar. I might stick around but I won’t ever fit in. Still, the company is a non-profit (sounds like a think tank in laymans terms) and I would really enjoy reading about the ongoing projects they are thinking and researching upon. I had a look at what is mentioned on their website. So excellent! If I had gone a different direction in life I could have been one of the caviar types, thinking alongside the rest of the tank. But, here I am, just peanut butter.

Even peanut butter can apply though. I need to vamp up my domain and turn it into something like a writing portfolio. A real one not that pile of knicknacks I have tossed in it now. Not a very professional page. Way too peanut butter though fun.

Sometimes I feel really inferior compared to people who can build a computer with a few paperclips and a snippet of code. Yet other days I meet someone who calls me a geek and acts like I’m speaking a foreign language. I’m just your humble every day mouse swinger but I’m trying to be more. If I pretend enough maybe no one will notice the peanut butter on my fingers. Actually, the funny thing is that I don’t like peanut butter and I never have.

I Am Not at Home

I’m not sure what I’m doing. The upstairs tenants have not moved out their stuff. So work on fixing and cleaning up there is not making any progress. Yet, I am 100% sure they do not have any thought to paying another month of rent for April. Just free storage for them. I’d like to bag it up and burn it all. But, you can’t do that. People who do wrong are protected by law. It’s the poor idiots who have done nothing that are screwed over and over again. Ugh!

I might go back down to the apartment this week for a day or two. It’s so messed up right now. Too many things. My brother is away in Vancouver and I told him he should go. Though it is a bad time with the house trying to be ready to be sold, or at least on the market. I had a feeling George and the elephants upstairs (his family) would be jerks. But, I let optimism reign and I encouraged my brother to go even when he said to me (in that way of asking me) that it wasn’t a good time to be going away. My brother worries too much about his sisters and his Mother though. He is a good brother but needs to get away. Not that he won’t worry and he does have something to worry about. Will it really be a break now when they are making life so difficult for him back here?

Graham asked me to be down there and get George and elephants out of there. But, I can’t. I talked to the real estate agent and she said there is nothing to be done. The police won’t do anything. We can’t do anything but ask them to get the fuck out, in a nice, professional ‘can I lick your ass’ way. How bloody stupid. You could insure your home for a bundle. Move all your valuables out to another place and torch the house just to get those pests removed. I think that really is the only way to do it.

Anyway, I don’t know where I will be living again. I don’t know if I really want to put a lot of energy and time into job hunting now. If I actually get a job I’d likely have to leave it. I can’t afford the rent in Toronto. Not unless I live under someone’s sink or something.

Why do I always end up back in the same place, the same stuff always comes back to get me. It’s like it doesn’t matter what I do I always end up right back here as the vagabond. No wonder I daydream about winning the lottery. Though I try not to cause it’s not getting me anywhere.

Today I am meeting Zack, the nephew, for a Tim Hortons after school. He wants to go to Goodwill and look at books and game CD’s. I saw one he was interested in yesterday and mentioned it to him. I will have to put grocery money into the car as gas to keep it from getting too close to empty. That car seems to suddenly lose all gas once the quarter tank shows. More financial planning for me. I’m so sick of it. I want to not worry about having food in the last half of each month. I want to know where I will be living for the rest of my life and not have to move at least once a year.

No doodle today. My scanner is away. I don’t even have plain, crisp white paper to doodle on here.

The Sand in My Toes and My Hair

I am moved. Right now I’m back at the old place to help out my Mom. The hot water heater broke and the basement got pretty flooded. The septic tank is also having problems. We just had it fixed but they said a tree root has been growing in the main pipe outside. It seems to be back again and we are replacing the pipe this time. So a lot of water problems.

I just received the kit to set up the Internet at the Beaches but didn’t have time to finish installing and fixing up the hardware. So I won’t be online till after the weekend. Just a quickie to wave hello from no where.

PS- I went to CanZine! Will write about it later.

Suddenly Naked

My white gold sleeper earrings just broke. I’m moderately peeved. I’ve worn them constantly for about three years. They were almost trouble free. Till one snagged my comb after a late night shower, a few minutes ago. It didn’t even break right then. Just came open. It was while I was in the bathroom trying to push the ends back together that one end snapped off. Now I have naked ears. It feels so strange.

Grrls Night Inn

It’s Sunday evening. Nearly 11:00 PM. Just thought you might like that little update. Was that excitement, or what?

Zack is here, hopefully sleeping by now. He was charged up tonight. Maybe it was knowing he won’t be with his family and Mom is leaving tomorrow night. I remember how I felt when I was in that situation, ages ago, when I was a kid being sent to live with my Grandmother for awhile. It was a sick, desperate feeling. But, Zack does like his Grandmother, I didn’t really like my Grandmother. Maybe she aspired to be queen of tough love. It didn’t work for me.

Anyway, not a lot going on. I miss John so much I have shed a tear over the whole thing. I’ve never yet met him face to face so I always feel kind of silly about feeling attached to him and missing him. So, today I made another post to Craigslist. So far all the replies are from men who are not my age, not single or not caucasion which were my three MUSTs. Are men just blind, stupid or THAT desperate? Do they hunger for rejection or do they just think I will go for whatever I can get, as if I’m that desperate. I have no answers and the ones I do have I don’t really want to know. Does it matter? In the end I only want one fish out of that tank/ ocean/ gene pool. I’m not greedy, one decent, intelligent guy who worships the ground I walk upon, will do.

Just kidding. Not about the worship part though. Get real, a grrl has to have some fun.

On the Road

It’s not a great day to be traveling. I had planned to just stay here, watching the snowflakes, not being out there among them.

But, my sister phoned and I’m about to embark on an outdoor excursion. I don’t really want to go. But, Zack was happy to hear I was coming.

I can’t remember how much gas I had in the tank after the trip out to Barrie the other day. I’m so sick of having to worry about money all the time.

My brother suggested I make an apron for Sherry. I’d love to. I thoguth about getting everything out today and getting a start on it. But, now I’m driving down to Newmarket. Tomorrow I have self employment personality test thing, to see if I’m the right kind of person to be self employed. If you run out of options, does it matter how well suited you are?

Sometimes the world is too annoying. I’m taking along my old sleeping bag from the multi cross Canada trips. Get that thing out of the closet and onto the road again. Maybe I can pretend I’m on a birthday road trip.

Thank you Marsha for the birthday card. 🙂

Merry Yule

Writing with a Pick

What do you write about when you have absolutely nothing to say? If you blog or write a regular column somewhere you will eventually hit a dry spot. Maybe you’re just not having a very good day. Maybe you’re just not in the mood to write. Maybe your idea file fell off the fish tank and got too wet to read. So many things can happen.

I’ve been there, a few times. With a personal blog you can just say “bite me” and leave it unspoken for that day, that week even. But, if you’re expected to write something on schedule you have to come up with something.

I think the worst I did (so far) was write about being a nose picker and the other one I wrote about having after the shower hair picking. Neither is a pretty picture. But, I wrote them. Both got feedback, from others who have been in those picky situations. Some were just surprised that I’d write about THAT! So, I did get a laugh out of shocking or at least surprising people.

I think a writer should keep a stockpile of ideas. But also a secondary stockpile for those times when you don’t feel like writing, but have to. Maybe you won’t have to resort to writing about nose picking. Or, maybe you will choose that over something even worse.

Good luck.