Wherein I complain about bronchitis and cashflow

My bout of coughing fits wassn’t letting go of me, and Lyra has been having some trouble sleeping due to her cough for the past week, so I took the two of us in to see our doctor this morning instead of going to daycare/work. As it turns out, I have bronchitis and Lyra is mostly okay but has a bit of croupiness to her cough, which may or may not need treatment. I, however, get to take antibiotics for the next X number of days. Yay. Speaking of which, I’m due for the next pill right now.

I kept Lyra home for the rest of the day and took the day off myself to try and rest. This was a foolish plan on my part, since taking care of Lyra during the day is in no way a means to resting. The girl would not nap at all – I got ten minutes of nap out of her on my lap in the early afternoon, which ended abruptly with a phone call and a requirement to get my laundry off the balcony so they could paint. When I tried to settle her back down for the next two hours, she babbled incessantly at me, crawled around the bed, played with her Ugly doll, and generally just refused outright to sleep. I was beyond frustrated and exhausted. I finally just gave up trying to put her to sleep, and let her run around like a maniac for the rest of the day. In retrospect, I should have taken the time to drop her at Daycare after the doctor’s appointment. I’ve learned my lesson – tomorrow, the girl is going in to daycare and I am staying at home and not really working.

Well, not entirely working, anyhow. There are some things that I need to get done in the morning for work, but they’re easily done remotely and I’ll sort them out pretty easily I think. After that I’m just going to try and relax and let the antibiotics do their thing. Yesterday I managed to pull a muscle in my back from coughing. Today I had no energy at all. Last week is kind of a haze of randomness in my head – I don’t really remember what I did at all.

It’s bad timing for me to be missing work – there’s a lot going on (isn’t there always?) and we’re closing for the winter holiday in two weeks, so there isn’t a lot of time left for me to get it all done. The doctor, however, told me outright to stay home and recover (she offered a note in case the office requires it) so I’m going to listen to her, since I’m damn tired of all this coughing and soreness and general malaise. It’s never a good time to be sick.

That’s really all that’s going on for me right now. Adam’s unused URL automatically renewed this week – maybe this year we’ll do something with it. Who knows. I somehow doubt it. Guess I should buy hosting for it or something. I also hope to do some redesigning of my own website soon, but haven’t had the energy to really think about it lately. I want to work on it during the office closure, when I’ll have some time during the day to myself while Lyra’s at daycare. Plus I have another web project that I have utterly ignored – I would really like to revisit that and figure out what to do with it. Probably should buy hosting for that, too. Except I can’t afford any of these extra expenses right now.

I took a good long look at our monthly expenses vs. income this week, and reached a conclusion that I’m not particularly fond of. I was hoping in the next year we would be able to move out of our current apartment (which we love, but is getting too small) into a bigger place, preferably some sort of townhome with a small yard where Lyra can play outside. I’ve even been looking around at various options to see what’s available and in what price ranges, and it seemed like it could be something we could manage… but to be honest, we just can’t.

With the new car payments & insurance & the other usual expenses, as well as paying 900$/month on daycare, we’re just not able to take on any more expenses. The rental cost increase for us to move up to a townhome is (minimum) an extra 300$ a month. This is assuming we move further away from my work, which also means my transit costs would go up by either 50 or over 100$ (depending on if I was taking regular transit or West Coast Express). There is no real possibility at this point in time for either of us to bring in an extra 400$ a month. Adam’s work has has a salary freeze since a few days after he was hired – he’s never seen any kind of raise. My office has a freeze as well, due to the economic downturn and all that. And 400$ a month is nearly 5000$ a year – that’s no cost of living increase.

So it’s just not possible for us to move. If we weren’t paying for daycare, then we’d be set, but we can’t exactly drop that. It’s just frustrating… our place is too small these days for all of us, now that Lyra’s running around everywhere. We haven’t had a dining room table since she was born – we eat on the couch at the coffee table every night. We can’t really use the laundry machines in our building’s basement because the dryers take three runs to dry things – which means a single load of laundry ends up costing 5$.

Meh. I’m just complaining now. I’m disappointed. There’s nothing to be done about it at this point. It’s all little details that add up to being frustrating for me. It’s not the end of the world. To distract me from my irritation, here is a photo of Lyra in Tofino wearing a fairy costume.

Fairy Lyra in the wind

It’s like juggling feral cats!

There’s a lot going on this week.

On Sunday Adam’s bank card didn’t work at Tim Horton’s for breakfast, so he called the bank. They confirmed that his card had been compromised. When they went over recent transactions and found a $400.00 withdrawal from a bank machine in Quebec, we were not impressed. We were less impressed to learn that, while the bank will refund us the money, it would not be immediate and there would be paperwork, and it would likely take a few weeks. Naturally, this is around rent cheque time, and our rent hadn’t yet been removed from our account – and we were now short.

Fortunately for us I had a cheque for some photography work I had done that I hadn’t yet put into my photography account. I deposited that to cover rent, and promptly started wondering how I was going to pay for Adam’s birthday present next week. Still haven’t figured that one out.

For the moment, we are in limbo with the bank account stuff. Adam’s card doesn’t work, so he needs a new one, which means going in to a branch to pick one up. This was his plan for this morning before work.

He woke up this morning feeling kind of crappy, but then he’s been feeling on and off crappy since Lyra’s birthday or so in early July, so I guess he didn’t think much of it beyond “I feel crappy.” He hopped on a bus to head down to the bank and had to get off two stops later due to extreme nausea. He walked over to our doctor’s office and got in to see her pretty much immediately.

The Doctor expressed some concerns about him having lost weight, and decided that it’s probably been the same thing wrong with him for the past month. She ordered a barrage of blood tests and the like, and sent him off to the lab with instructions to avoid Lyra and stay home from work until they know what he’s got, in case it’s something bad and contagious (Norwalk?) or something along those lines.

Off he went to the lab, which is just upstairs from the doctor’s office. They took a few vials of blood, and then he passed out on the floor. He tells me that he lay there for about fifteen minutes until he felt up to walking home. Our apartment building and the lab have one small building separating them… he was in pretty rough shape.

Since then, he’s been hanging out at home, mostly sleeping and feeling terrible. I left work a bit early to pick up Lyra and bring her home – normally he picks her up after work. She’s doing okay – she doesn’t seem to have whatever it is that he has, right now. Still, we’re playing it safe and he’s not spending much time with her, which really sucks for both of them.

Adam has an unknown illness that might be serious, is hopefully treatable, and may be contagious, but we can’t do a thing until we know what it was. And some asshats stole our bank card information and then stole cash from out of our account the day after was due to come out. We’re just lucky it hadn’t yet, or it would have bounced. Or maybe it did and we just don’t know it yet. I have no idea how it works with this bank, I haven’t bounced a cheque in years.

My stress levels are slightly elevated. Also, I need to eat my dinner before I develop a blood sugar imbalance.

Good and Bad

Good: I finally tried to pull my shit together and get my taxes done for the last three years.
Bad: Haven’t done my taxes in 3 years. Am missing most of the paperwork which is in boxes in ontario. Have to call the government tomorrow and hopefully get the paperwork back from them. Ick.

Good: I paid off my Canada Student Loan
Bad: I apparently didn’t pay off my Ontario student loan yet, even though I thoght I had. This means if I get money back from aforementioned taxes, it will go towards said student loan.

Good: I got some contract work for the next month or so.
(that one’s just good.)

Good: Called that collection agency that left a message on my phone a few weeks back to find out wtf they were looking for.
Bad: Apparently I have an outstanding debt on a store credit card that I don’t remember, but may very well have had. I guess I’ll have to pay that one back. I had the card in 99 apparently, and don’t remember it at all. Strange.

Good: Got invited on Adam’s mountain biking trip next week.
(also just good, I think.)

Good: My new website is very very close to done and ready to go live
Bad: My new website isn’t live yet damnit!

The good outweighs the bad but I really need a higher income to pay back all these old stupid debts that keep surfacing. If I could get them dealt with, I’d be back at square one again, and that would be fantastic.

No Koyanniskatsi show…

Happy day of the marmot! Or something.

It’s raining again, which leads me to believe that there will be no shadows. Unless you call that tiny dry patch under a car that hasn’t moved in a month and is parked on a flat surface a shadow.

We really wanted to get tickets to go see the Philip Glass Koyanniskatsi (no clue if I spelled that right) show, had plans to and everything, but expenses went stupid towards the end of the month, with the car repair and a bunch of other little things that added up to become big things. Now we have just enough money to eat for a week. So disappointing.

I must get dressed and bike to work. Skipping breakfast this morning, since we haven’t any milk anyhow. Bleh.

Banks are evil

I wish I didn’t need to use a bank. I wish I could keep all my money in a shoebox under the bed.

My bank, Canada Trust, recently merged with Toronto Dominion (TD) bank. I have yet to see what the effects will be of this merger/buyout/whatever it was. Maybe it will be a good think. Likely it won’t be.

My bank takes $6.95 out of my account each month as a ‘service charge’ – that’s the standard self-serve account charges. For that $6.95 I get 25 transactions – either on Bank machines (ABMs) at my own bank (any branch), Interac(tm) purchases, or online payments and that sort of thing. Great. $6.95 I can handle, I suppose. It’s annoying, but hey.

It’s the mysterious ‘OBC’ charges at the end of the month that really piss me off though. You see, that 25 transaction rule applies only when I use a Canada Trust or TD ABM. That means that any time I use a bank machine other than those ones (and there aren’t enough around) I get charged extra, by both my own bank and by the machine that I’m using. If I use those convenient ‘Laser-Cash’ machines that are popping up everywhere, not only does my bank charge me an extra dollar, but the laser cash machine takes $1.25 out of your account while you use it.

By the end of the month, I’m sometimes paying as much as $25.00 in services charges on an account that doesn’t maintain a balance over $1000. I don’t make enough to carry a balance, I make enough to get by. That’s it.

And they tell me that if I could keep my balance above $1000 then everything would be free… except those other bank charges, from using machines that aren’t CT or TD, or the laser cash machines… so really, just that $6.95 would be free. I’d still be paying 15$ or more each month in OBC’s.

I hate banks.

I like to listen

I’m now walking around in my WomenGamers t-shirt and my bright pink socks, and that’s it. Kinky, eh? K, not really, but hey.

Had a strange evening, felt like I was being a listener again… haven’t done that in a while, I’ve never minded doing it though… I remember when many people would come to me for that sort of thing… enough that I had considered going into Psychology or something, anyhow. I never did, I came to the conclusion that if I couldn’t manage my own life then I was not going to be responsible for other people’s lives. I seem better able to manage my own life now, I pretty much know what’s going on, and when, and why, and it still occurs to me sometimes that maybe I should go to university for psychology and get a MSW… and then I consider going to University for English, to further the writing thing… I need more money.

Life is strange. It goes around in circles and if you don’t learn the first time you pass that way, you’ll be back there again and again, and you’ll keep making the same mistakes. I’ve been spiralling around for years, but at least it’s been a spiral and I’ve kept moving out from the darkness of the centre. I can see the stars just out of reach.

I love pasta and lower phone bills

Jay made spaghetti with meat sauce for dinner. pasta is by far my favourite food. Got the phone bill today, and it was 15$ cheaper than it normally is. I was impressed. I think maybe the phone I’ve been leasing forever has finally been paid off! I think I might phone them and ask. Off to look at Jay’s new Counterstrike map now.

Still no tea

It’s freezing in here! I couldn’t tell you what it’s like outside, but inside I’m shivering and wishing I wore a sweater instead of a t-shirt and jacket. Ick. This sucks.

Still no tea, won’t get one til I get home. I should stop at the bank and pull some money out for that BMO bill that hasn’t been paid yet. I must remember to pick up the photos tomorrow, too, or send Jay when he goes to pay the BMO bill.

One of my computers at work won’t work right. It keeps hanging up on something in the script, and I have no idea what. Stupid thing. I guess I’ll try to fix it now.

I wish I looked like Rinoa, but really I’m Selphie

This is the first morning in a very long time that I’ve been awake (coherently) before 10:30 am. What a strange feeling. I would like a cup of tea though, maybe I’ll go get one on my break at 11:00.

My mom is supposed to be here either tomorrow evening or Wednesday for the day. I’m still considering whether or not I should take a ‘mental health day’ on Wednesday to spend with her. I really want to, and I think it’s worth it, but I don’t want to screw my pseudo-budget up, it’s already precarious enough.

I have Selphie hair today. My hair does this for some reason. Jay thinks it’s cute. (if you’re wondering, Selphie is a character from Final Fantasy VIII – I have some of her personality traits, as well as her hair, but I don’t have those lovely green eyes…) Ideally I would like Rinoa’s hair… but somehow I don’t think that’ll happen.

I’m not allowed to have the window open at work anymore, now that the air conditioning is on. It kinda sucks, I like the outside air, it combats the staleness of the air in here. Nothing I can do about that though.