So, it’s been awhile, no?
For those of you who’ve missed updates at the ol’ raincoaster blog, since the last time this blog was active I’ve:
- Started and run Canada’s premier hacktivism and cyberwar news website, The Cryptosphere, currently on hiatus. During its active period it was linked to by sites all over the world including the Daily Mail, Telegraph, Newsweek, and more (although not any Canadian ones, which is weird). And I was quoted by Time magazine. So, that was nice.
- Moved about twenty or thirty times, as I paired my burgeoning cyber-career with a sideline as a pet-sitter. After one too many cancellations, I started charging good money with 50% up front and non-refundable, and otherwise, this really couldn’t be a viable option. But the fact is, that’s a horrible way to live, always trying to line up gigs so you’re never homeless.
- Been homeless for periods of time, because of the whole making-no-money-from-website thing, combined with pet-sitting gigs that didn’t line up. Thank god for good friends, that’s all I can say.
- Moved back to Ottawa, god help me, to stay with a cousin who has a medical condition that means he should not live alone. The idea was, I rest up and recover from the gruelling life I’d been leading while doing him a favour. Didn’t quite work out that way.
- Shortly after arrival, fell down an entire flight of stairs, landing on the back of my head and my elbow. The elbow shattered into gravel, so that gives you a rough idea of what my brain went through. My sister heard the fall, and investigated immediately; when she found me no more than three minutes after the fall, there was a pool of blood around me three feet in diameter. The medical team were quite surprised I didn’t die. Me too, considering…
- Was examined in Emergency and told my elbow was not broken. Five weeks later, when I went back because it wasn’t healing as well as the rest of me, I found out that was false. It had been turned into what the bone doctor called “gravel”, and so they had to schedule me for surgery. I now have six inches of steel in that elbow, and even five months of physio will not allow me to straighten and lock that elbow, ever again. There goes my career in yoga.
- Slowly recovered. The fall happened at the end of September 2016, and I literally don’t remember anything other than some of the hospital, until Halloween. I only have patchy memories of the next few months. It was June of the next year before I felt like myself again. I kept trying, and failing, to get back to work, and because even my capacity for self-awareness was damaged, I couldn’t understand why I was having difficulty.
- Got laid off from Passcode, so was fully unemployed in a province where I didn’t officially exist and thus couldn’t get benefits.
- Over months proved to the government not only that I existed, but that I was a Canadian citizen who had entered the country legally. Got, piece by piece, all of the identification I needed, so now if I want I can go get a driver’s license, only nobody here will let me borrow their car, so I’ll have to pay a driving school. So I need to make some money.
- Started back to work, first at a content farm, which is unchallenging, but at least it’s steady, pays promptly, and covers my bills. Then got a gig with a new news site covering blockchain, and they’re very interested in my specialties of crime and social justice. And they pay TOP RATES. I’ve already got an assignment there, so I just need to get the email questions out and do the research and then bang an article into shape. Very excited about this.
- Just tonight, had a tryout for a 9-5, M-F crime writing job. We’ll see how I do at this, but they already know my work and are keenly interested. It’s in the same time zone as Ottawa, so that works out well, and it’s a four month contract, which would give me enough of a cushion that when I go back to BC I wouldn’t need to scramble or feel desperate.
- Speaking of which…
I just gave Ontario my notice.
It’s been…sticky, humid, swarming with insects, sleeting, coated with ice, 90 minutes from downtown via bus on a good day, expensive, fattening, boring, Tory, racist, uncultured, and dull. And I’m leaving.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s not really Ontario I hate, it’s just the extremely bland, suburban part of it that I’m marooned in that I hate. And I know BC isn’t perfect. Half of it is on fire right now.
But I know where I belong, and I know the places that call to my heart. I know that, when I sit on the bus in Vancouver, nobody moves away from me just because my hair is blue. I know that BC takes public transportation much more seriously than Ontario does. And god, the food is SO MUCH BETTER.
Also, my friends are there.
During my two years in Ontario I’ve made precisely 4 new friends, none of whom live in Ottawa. I’ve been deliberately avoiding social occasions, because I don’t want to form emotional ties to this place, and the plan has worked.
Two of those four new friends have offered me a pet-sitting gig over the Christmas holidays, right through to mid-January, and they’ve included: an offer to stay with them in December for free, three weeks of paid pet-sitting, and an airline ticket home to BC at the end of it. So, although I had hoped to be out of here sooner, I said yes. I’ll shift my stuff to The Sister’s basement at the end of November, bid my cousin adieu, and prepare to become a BCer again.
I’m gonna need more Gore-tex.