Well, possums, it’s been roughly 2.5 months since ol’ raincoaster here was in receipt of any of these much-lauded Covid-19 supports. She got what has been referred to as “The Letter” although she got it by email which is a damn good thing because if it were up to the Post Office who knows when, but there, I’ve said too much. Like that this week they emailed me a job opening that closed on January 15, yes, before it was posted. The Letter informs the (un)lucky Canadian that the Tax Person (we don’t say Tax Man anymore) requires them, the Canadian, to prove that they had a net income of $5,000 or more in 2019 and that it ceased as a result of the pandemic. And that, until they do, they get nothing.
At least on Tuesday they announced they won’t be clawing back the money given to people whose net income was less than $5000, but whose gross income was above that benchmark.
So, there’s that.
Now, there’s a workaround that should be effective, but I’ve got to do another call with them on Monday, which will be a solid month after the last time they requested documents from me, and we’ll see what happens then.
So, anyhoodle, money has been scarce around the ol’ raincoaster burrow since the end of November, as CRA requests documents, then requests 4 weeks to review those documents, then requests more documents and another 4 weeks theretoreview, and so on, all to determine whether or not my income from pet-sitting did or did not evaporate during the pandemic.
Spoiler alert: it did.
But in between hunting for a job and whining on social media about having no money, I still find time in my busy schedule to engage in the favourite pastime of the destitute: making fantasy shopping lists.
Now, back in the day when I had a steady income I could flip through glossy magazines and put, say, some whimsical 17th Century Chinoiserie chairs on the list, but these days, when I can’t even afford the catalogues and the library is closed and Connoisseur magazine folded, even my dreams have contracted.
Presented here, on the general principle that pain shared is…well, just great material for a good goth lyric, if nothing else…my fantasy shopping list of All The Things I Would Have Bought By Now From Local Companies (fuck Amazon!) If I Still Had The CRB To Which I Am Entitled Because Duh, Pet-Sitting In A Pandemic, I Mean Come On.
Not that I’m less uppity than Payette; quite the opposite. I will, without question, be the first GG in history to drop an F bomb in a throne speech. I’ll need a whole staff dedicated to preventing me from calling for firing squads on Twitter several times a day. And a fat lot of good it’s been doing anyway. You people never listen. Not to mention I’m a stone cold lefty and will just Nationalize All The Things if they leave me alone with Justin Trudeau’s laptop for fifteen minutes.
I mean, have you SEEN my About page (pictured above, no, really)?
Now, I know that these things are appointed, rather than voted on, but what have I got to lose? I’m currently unemployed, journalism having retracted like a hand that reached out in the darkness and accidentally touched Donald Trump, and the dog-sitting business having undergone something of a critical constriction due to that “Nobody except Conservative party lifers can go on pleasure jaunts” thing. For reasons unknown, this Communal Anarchist does not have a wide acquaintance among the Tories other than blood relatives who currently are not speaking to me for fear I’ll mention Q and say “I told you so!”
Which I totally will do, every single chance I get.
I also know that the GG does not have a “platform” per se, but have gone ahead and created one, in the interest of saving everyone time, and also to show off that I’m not afraid to do a little hard work now and again. Though I wouldn’t want it to become a habit.
I have also done outreach for some key positions. Vermin Supreme will be my Grand Vizier (he has agreed, or at least he’s retweeting it every time I mention him, which I’m taking as consent). We shall change his name to Vermine Supreme, just to annoy the Americans. This will strengthen our relationship with the UK, as there is nothing Boris likes so much as pointless pretension (did he tell you he went to Eton? Don’t worry, he will).
Zap Rowsdower will take over as Captain of the Guard, Polo Stick In Waiting, or whatever they’re calling it these days. Heck, we could make him Chief Beer Tester. He just strikes me as the kinda guy you want to have on your side in case it all goes Mad Max.
We’ve used the phrase “pull up a mink” several times recently. Why? Because the COVID-19 zombie mink culls brought it to our mind(s) and put it into our sentences. And also because we have a history of pulling up a mink, which, let us explain:
Longtime friend of the blog Calimaria had a townhouse near Casa Raincoaster. While she was able to enjoy a lovely garden apartment, she was not always able to keep the heat on in said apartment, an all-too-common occurence in Vancouver, with its overpriced housing market. I myself couldn’t keep the electricity on for four years.
Calimaria enjoyed a good cocktail as much as the next blogger (ie this one) and we used to get together on Fridays. I would bring over a pitcher of Manhattans (2:1 with lots of bitters) and as I entered she would say, “Pull up a mink!” and we would sit and chat for hours.
She had inherited a brown mink coat from her mother, and I had sold her (during a brief period of prosperity) my own mother’s blonde herringbone mink. So we would use the coats as lap rugs and enjoy a lovely visit. Yes, we talked about you.
Well, this blog post for a start. And almost an end, too.
Thought it would be interesting, saddening, infuriating, frustrating, and ultimately boring (in other words, Peak 2020) to do another of these, in order to compare them with the entries from back when I, and most of you, had actual lives.
Set the alarm for 10:30 in order to watch the Remembrance Day Ceremony, on YouTube, not IRL, because the government has asked us not to show up in person. This is probably (fingers crossed) my last November in Ottawa, so I was looking forward to being there for it, but it’s not worth literally risking my life. so nevermind. There’s the crowd down there, sure, but there’s also two buses and a train between here and there; before the big change to OCTranspo, it was just one bus straight downtown, but OH WELL. I’m not risking three contagion tanks each way for anything less than a Major Occasion.
Anyway, got woken up at 6 by noise both Roommate-ian and external in origin. Rolled over, looked at the alarm, and realized The Roommate would be in charge of the tv by the time the ceremony was going to go live, and so I wouldn’t be able to watch it anyway, so I turned off the alarm and gave up. House rules: if The Roommate is home, conscious, and able to reach the remote before I am, the tv stays on the programs of his choosing until he either leaves the building (he leaves the programs running even when he leaves, no I don’t know why, not gonna ask) or loses consciousness. One of the reasons I’m looking for an affordable alternative: if you know anything in Ottawa or anywhere in BC south of Armstrong, hmu.
So, that was kinda sad. I still haven’t seen it, and I’d like to. And if I’d been able to get downtown, I could have given out free hugs at the Qidiot camp, hoping to pass along whatever bug I’ve had that’s given me a fever for eight straight weeks. I think infecting a Nazi is a great way to celebrate Remembrance Day.
Went back to sleep and slept deeply, woke up at 2:15pm when The Roommate left and the dog scratched at my door to be let in. I let him in, got up, brushed my teeth, washed my face, gathered up some skincare supplies, and went downstairs.
Queued up some YouTube DIY videos and skincare vids to warm up to the day while brewing and consuming my coffee. Dermaplaned my face, which a year ago I never thought I’d be doing; it’s essentially shaving one’s entire face with a scalpel. It removes not just the peach fuzz, but also the dead, dried cells on the surface of the skin, but you do have to be careful because it’s an actual scalpel; you’ll cut your face if you’re sloppy. I managed it with only one scare, but no blood. Anyhoodle, I tried it once and was gobsmacked at how smooth it made my face and how it let the serums and other treatments go so much farther. And today I used Buffet with Copper Peptides and then Rose Hip Oil, covered it with a silicone mask for fifteen minutes till it had been absorbed, then put my retinol Neutrogena moisturizer on and was good to go.
Been on rather a Skincare Journey over the past two years: dermarolling was the first experiment. Loved the results of that! “Puncture your face with hundreds of tiny holes, it’ll be fine!” is not something that parses, but it does actually work. Collagen Induction Therapy they call it, and it simply works. Minorly painful, but worth it, particularly since you shouldn’t do it more than once a week.
Since then I’ve gotten:
a skin scraper (not worth the money IMHO, does pretty much nothing)
a knockoff Foreo which I adore (nobody needs a $200 appliance to wash their face, but for $30, it’s a very soothing massager for the face which does seem to de-puff things a bit)
a freckle/cauterizing pen which is so painful I’m scared to use it even though I’m sick of these dark marks and skin tags on my neck
A Faustina IPL machine which works to reduce hair and fight redness and dark marks, and I’m impressed with this one although you have to keep doing it weekly or biweekly
a knockoff NuFace, which I’m on the fence about. It’s much stronger than the real NuFace, which should make it more effective, if much less comfortable. I’m moderating the strength by letting the aloe vera gel dry out a bit before using it
I have been letting the skincare slide recently, because The Roommate has been home from work for three bloody weeks. Who takes three weeks off work to just sit on their ass in the living room watching loud tv? WITHOUT GIVING THEIR ROOMMATE A HEADS UP? Ugh. I prefer doing my skincare treatments sitting in my favourite chair, rather than standing in the semi-clean bathroom under lights that buzz and spark. Anyway, he’s back at work now and there are two whole hours of light between the time he leaves and the time the sun goes down, so I’m going to have to use it to the utmost.
So, where was I? Oh yes, rudely awoken, gave up on Remembrance Day, conked out till the afternoon, went downstairs, made coffee, did skincare and watched Christmas DIY instructionals on YouTube while drinking coffee.
Made breakfast/dunch which was a whole wheat wrap with cauli rice, chicken breast, red pepper, and celery, with mustard and bbq sauce. Couldn’t be arsed to take a picture because I’m banned from Instagram BUT I’M OVER THAT.
Checked email and didn’t have a couple that I was expecting. Checked Twitter, and asked a friend for a connection to a local professor. I’m considering going back to school to finish my long-forgotten degree, and this prof is apparently working on something very, very interesting and right up my alley. We shall see.
Farted around on the internet, which takes much less time now that I’m banned from both Facebook AND Instagram, and Gawker is dead (RIP).
Applied for my second CRB benefits: Prime Minister Zoolander is keeping me in better style than any man I’ve ever known. No wonder I almost feel guilty calling him that!
Noticed the sun was setting, so took the dog out for a walk probably for the last time without the need for a jacket. Poor guy, he used to be able to do ten kilometers without turning a hair, but these days 2000 steps is as big a walk as he can normally handle. We got some nice pix of the sunset though, which I will probably upload here later, had some nice socially distanced chat, and eyeballed and got eyeballed by several silver foxes, also out with their dogs. Or their Roommate’s dogs. I didn’t ask.
Came back and, because I’m crepuscular, it was time to do some work. First order of business was, get all the dirty laundry off of the bedroom floor and on to the living room floor, where I sorted it. Didn’t start laundry right then because was waiting for the hydro rates to go down at 7.
Checked the job listings and updated the resume for journalism, worked on a cover letter for a local publication. I had to do a lot of research first, because I’d never seen this particular magazine, but it’s not distributed in this end of Buttfuck Suburbia; turns out it’s been around for ten years. Their YouTube channel has a whopping 19 subscribers; pretty sure I could bring some big change in their social media, and my cover letter said as much. Sent in the application and for once didn’t forget to attach my resume. Spotted a damn typo, of course, but then I spotted a few in their ad.
Walked the dog or rather ran/walked the dog at 11 just when The Roommate was expected home, so we got a solid 30 minutes of 1:30 running, 30 walking. Remembered to do my stretches when I got back, too! But still flaked on the yoga, as it’s more of a wakeup routine but I can’t do it till almost 3 when The Roommate leaves for work.
Then it was Midnight Snack time, which was a big salad with some more chicken on it, carrots, celery, red pepper, and tomatillo salsa with goat cheese. God, goat cheese is always worth the money.
I think I overworked the dog today so I gave him one of his old gabapentins to help him sleep and not feel pain. If he’s gimpy tomorrow I’ll sneak him another one as soon as I can.
Still had a low blood sugar headache a couple of hours later, so had half a wrap with lettuce, some goat cheese, and red salsa. Now I’m watching Trinny Takeover videos and waiting for my laundry to be done. As soon as the next load is folded I’ll call it a night.
The new cleaner comes around noon, which means The Roommate has been frantically straightening up all week. Tomorrow should be interesting.
‘Tis well known around these parts that we (this is the Royal We, you understand, unlike the Royal Wee, which is quite another thing entirely) enjoy a good pub. Occasionally, we even enjoy a terrible pub. The Pub as a social institution is near and dear to our hearts (yes, we has one…or several, if you count the ones buried in the basement). The Pub as a dispensary of alcohol is near and dear to our liver, and indeed, responsible for most our extra padding and a large number of our bad decisions over the years.
But enough about US!
Let us all, all of us, bow down to the true Queen of the Pubs. Contemporary Ireland may or may not be so hot on Queens as a group, but this specific one they must adore. And there can be no question that she will lead the country some day officially, as she leads and speaks for it now in an unofficial, volunteer capacity.
Behold the six-year-old Queen of All Pubs.
The six-year-old [unnamed, but surely it’s a grand Gaelic name] daughter of Jamie Moynihan would like to go to the pub, please. She cannot. BUT WHYYYYYY?
She has her makeup done and everything. Minnie got to go to the pub (for her dad’s birthday). Why can’t she go to the pub? The big kids go to the pub, and she’s SIX! SIX, Mummy!
“It’s my weekend off.”
If her mom lets her go to the pub, “I won’t go to the bingo anymore.”
This kid gets out a LOT more than I do.
Somebody crown her already, please. Can we drink to that?
Cheers to the Queen of Pubs!
There, wasn’t that a fun little blog post? Delightful, delightful, if I do say so myself (and who else is gonna, I axe yez?). Now that I have your attention, I would like to draw same attention to some very important raincoasterish business, and that is
The Queen of Pubs can have my spot at the bar for the next 60 days at least, because this little cancer survivor is going to be doing what I’m doing now, which is sitting in an armchair drinking icewater with ginger bitters in it. Eating healthy things like vegan cabbage rolls. Taking vitamins and supplements. Working out. And, most importantly, raising money for the Canadian Cancer Society, which I will be doing by pointing you directly at the link to donate, a link of which you will avail yourselves, I am sure.
As always, sharing is caring, so whether or not you donate, sharing the link to one or more of your social networks would be greatly appreciated. My goal this year is to raise $500, and looks like I’ve already got my first donation. Start off the New Year doing something good for the world. Look, I have to suffer (have you ever tasted flat ice water with ginger bitters side-by-side with a good Scotch? Lemme tell you, I’m suffering) but you don’t. Not even with a guilty conscience.
Put out for me, Internet! Put out for the cancer patients! Put out for the Queen Of Pubs!