Archive | January, 2014

and here I am

28 Jan

Loooong time no post.  I ‘m getting back into writing a bit, taking an online Creative Non-Fiction course and I’m actually attending my weekly writers’ group once in awhile.  Oh and I recently attended an all day writing event – I sat with ten other writers I’d never met and we, well, wrote.

I’ve never consistently allowed myself to pursue my creativity, except for the three and a half years I was a journalist way back in the day.  I’m so skeptical of everything that I haven’t really allowed myself to realize that writing more is good for my brain and actually makes me more creative.  I’ve long admired other folks’ creativity – whether it’s knitting or quilting or beer-making or making mountains out of molehills.  I’ve tended to be so critical of myself for not having those skills and I’ve given little credit to the skill of writing that I may have.

Etc.

Oh yes, job searching in Vancouver.  I forgot to check my last update – anyway, I’m now a part-time office administrator at a United Church – 8:30- 1 pm, Monday to Friday.  I don’t have skills in this area other than a quick typing speed but the church folks have generally been quite patient.  I’m generally on my own in the office so it’s quite an isolating job which isn’t the best for me.  Once in a while someone pops in and the minister is in  on Thursdays and Fridays.  I’m learning a thing or two about administrative work which may be helpful in future.  In general though, it is underemployment.  But it is a job that is somewhat permanent and it pays my most basic bills.  I’m still teaching an evening class at a local college when there are enough students, so that’s great .  That is about to start up again tomorrow evening and while I hate the epic bus/train/walk commute, I am very excited. I miss teaching and the classroom dynamics.  And the money will be oh so helpful too.  If I could get one more part-time job I’d be set.

The changing and basically the killing of the ESL industry in Canada by the feds is a whole blog entry or two in and of itself.  Suffice to say that having a secure part-time job not in the industry is a good idea.  So, thank you United Church for taking me on.

What else?  What else?  My mom passed away recently and so I’ve been in a grief funk really.  It has been hard, even though I’d known it was coming for a few years. It’s true that one is never really ready.  As a result, I wasn’t at my United Church job very much in December and when I was there I was kind of a mess.  They mainly understood.

Okay, so that is the catch up bit.  Now what is new to discuss?  Eeek, I am coming up blank.  And so, the weather.  In Vancouver it is hovering around 5C today and I can go out on my bicycle when it’s not pouring (which it will be doing shortly and for days).  In Winnipeg, however, where my mom was, it is unbelievably cold.  It is almost indescribable.  I grew up there but I always forget.   I was there on two separate occasions in December and both times it was about -35C (feels like -800C with the windchill).  And the roads and sidewalks are packed down with ice and snow and are uneven and treacherous to walk on.  So while you are trying not to fall and therefore walking more slowly, the air is so cold that it is just shocking.  SHOCKING.  ” How do people live like this it is so so wrong,” I would say to my sister, who now lives in Ottawa and thus and therefore is not experiencing the shock.  In fact, while I was on my bicycle this past weekend, she was looking outside at snow squalls in Ottawa.   We have fog squalls out here on the west coast but that’s about it.

I don’t think I could re-adjust to that kind of weather.  Oh and the wind blows snow off the snow banks into your face so you can’t see well.  The heck.

Frankly, I am surprised that people don’t go outside and just freeze in place immediately.  So you’d be at your job and you’d say, ‘hey, has anyone seen Fred,” and someone would say, ‘oh, Fred, he’s frozen in place outside.” And people would be like, of course, like no big deal.  How do seniors survive this?  Lots of staying inside obviously.  Although when I was there I saw some seniors out and about so hopefully they can do so without falling and freezing in place, which does actually happen.

Winnipeg in the summer is the opposite of course, +35C perhaps.  That’s not really tolerable either unless you have air conditioning and an outdoor pool.  May and September seem to the be two best months there, although it has snowed in May there.

I love cycling and Winnipeg doesn’t have much of a cycling culture, although I did see one crazy fellow out on his bike in December.

So that’s the weather.

And so ends my first returning blog post.  More to come, hopefully.  I’ve got to build the fan base back on up.