Agrees, Yoda does.

Yet — GASP — Another Blog Post!

Two in a week! I know, right? 

Here’s my first week with ID and medical coverage and what am I doing about it? Nothing whatsoever, that’s what I’m doing about it.

On the plus side, I have a TON of experience at this shit. On the minus side, I have a tooth that has basically been infected for the last year, on and off, plus swollen glands and an overdue cancer survivor check, which anyone must admit is an inauspicious conjunction. So I’ve got to get off my ass/buttular parts and on the road to getting an actual doctor’s appointment, which I literally forget how to do.

I’m serious. The last time I had a doctor’s appointment was like Three Cher Faces ago, and the Kardashians had not been invented yet, except the one toadying to OJ Simpson. So I have to find a doctor, I guess, and then make an appointment. No, first I have to dig through the welfare website, because I think I read that they cover dental stuff if you’re on benefits, which I am, and that would be huge. And I can do that now, which is long past doctors’ offices closing time, so brb.

Back. Wow, there are an unconscionable number of 404’s on that government website. No excuse for that shit, people. #BlameManagement. Anyhoodle it does look like dental is covered if there’s pain and/or infection and/or there sure as shit is.

Okay, email to one human being at the hospital with the cancer centre has been sent, asking for pointers to the right person to talk to. So that’s step one and step two down. Whew, this whole efficiency thing is exhausting!

The next paperwork step is taxes. You can imagine how much I’m looking forward to that. Taxes, cancer, and tooth extractions.

Life. A cabaret, it is.

Agrees, Yoda does.

Agrees, Yoda does.

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Certificate of Citizenship

Who exists? THIS BITCH!

Certificate of Citizenship

Certificate of Citizenship

Well, it’s official: I exist.

After a significant number of years “off the grid” during which I often lived without electricity, usually lived without a fixed address, and quite often lived without any idea where I would be in the next two weeks, as well as a fraught month without any health insurance whatsoever, I finally have an official address. An official identity. Like a pedigreed dog or a downtown lamp post, I am papered.

I am an Ontarian.

So, anyone looking for raincoaster is probably not looking in Ontario, so on that basis I’m probably pretty safe from Them, whoever Them is/are.

Not sure Them were actually ever looking for me, but my ego won’t allow for the possibility nobody wanted to find me, particularly THEM, so one will continue to assume one has successfully thwarted Them for years.

And don’t try to talk me out of it.

Anyhoodle, the result of all seven months of hard task-mastering and world-class admin support by The Sister is that I now have a temporary Ontario medical card (actually a letter) and in four to six weeks will have my first government-issued photo ID since 1996, when I had a passport, now long since expired. Before that, I believe it was my BC Driver’s License, which expired in 1993 or so and I just never bothered to get renewed. And all of the old ID except the passport got lost when I was mugged in Vancouver a few years back, at which time I found out just how much trouble it was all going to be to replace, and just let it go. Because you don’t need ID if you live in the same place for over a decade and everyone knows who you are and GASP you even run a tab at the Ovaltine and Sunrise Market, no problem, and who can do that? I ask yez. WHO has that kind of privilege? It’s like being Cher or something, only Cher can’t get credit at the Ovaltine. So I let it go.

Which, yeah, in retrospect was foolish, but what good is retrospect? I ain’t got no time machine.

But I DO have a snazzy letter attesting to the fact that I am a Canadian citizen, born abroad, which has a pretty CANADA 150 maple leaf on it, so Yay for Good Timing, I Got The Cool Logo. And now an OHIP letter, soon to be an OHIP card, at which point I can go to yet a different government office, fill out yet ANOTHER government form, write a test of some kind, and get my learner’s permit, as a prelude to getting a real driver’s license, which would have drastically simplified my life last year with the bus kerfuffle.

Oh yeah, the bus. Still hasn’t come up for auction, but when it does, I might just go there now that I have government ID and I know what it’s worth as scrap. Without government ID even the scrapyard wouldn’t take it last year. Wonder if it’ll still have all the stuff, like the dehydrator bolted to the custom-built counter.

But with a driver’s license things like ridesharing become possible. With a driver’s license and a bit of work under my belt, I’ll have some money and can buy a second-hand car or van and then I’ll have mobility and options. With a van, I can even sleep in it for free, so as long as the insurance isn’t a money bomb I will be, however slightly, on the property ladder as they say.

Yes, welcome to the 21st Century, where the Canadian Dream is to live in a second-hand van.

Speaking of work, I’m currently Not-Procrastinating on it by writing this blog post, my first in quite some time (years?). I’m practicing, warming up. Originally, the ol’ raincoaster blog began because I was describing myself as a writer, yet had no writing to show anyone. So, I assigned myself 200 words a day here, and that’s what I still recommend for my students, although I suggest 5 days a week, not 7.

Burnout is real, y’all.

But recovering from the accident has taken far longer than I had hoped. My brain works superficially quite well, so if I were, say, a tv talking head, I could go back to work now or some months ago. As a journalist in a highly complex and constantly changing field, it’s currently somewhat reaching to try to go back to that position, so I’m warming up by taking a couple of assignments that should be easy for me. SHOULD be.

Let’s put it this way: one of them is seven months overdue. One is a month late. And the other, thank god, is with an organization that moves as slowly as I do.

But blogging again, once a day for 200 words, is going to help me. Help me get back in the swing, get back to proficiency and prolixity (I did do 48 blog posts in a 24 hour period once, after all). God knows what I’ll write about, other than myself and procrastination, but here goes. Wish me luck.

On the Road Again, AGAIN!

Veteran Hobo via Shorpy

Veteran Hobo via Shorpy

ICYMI: I’ve been trying to buy and live in a converted schoolbus for the last year and a half or so. I finally OWN the bus, but it’s full of black mold and would need to be stripped back to the frame and rebuilt, by myself single-handedly thanks to budget constraints, and completed before mid-September, when my pet-sitting bookings dry up. The bus currently has a rocket stove as its major heat source, and I have it on excellent authority that this particular form of heat source, ie an open wood stove, will NEVER EVER IN A BILLION YEARS pass inspection, and it must pass inspection in order for me to drive this bus anywhere.

And…

I have to be in Ottawa in September, to spend the winter and possibly longer.

So…

If I cannot insure the bus, I cannot drive the bus. If I cannot drive the bus, I cannot use the bus. So, it becomes about selling the bus (and all its contents that are mold-resistant; it has some useful and valuable stuff like a gas generator, etc).

I may put that money into an RV or a car and trailer. My friend the Bus Whisperer insists that trailers are not fashionable, and are therefore a much better deal than RVs, so that’s tempting. Also way more versatile; I could hardly take a bus to the grocery store, or go downtown with it. The question is, can I get both a car that can drive 3,000 miles AND a trailer I can live in for whatever I can sell the bus for? The Bus Whisperer says if I strip it out right to the bones, ie no glass, no rubber, nothing in the box, I could sell the aluminum body and then sell the rest and maximize my take, rather than just letting them do it. I can certainly do that; demolition isn’t a fine art, is it? Lots of exercise though.

I’m moving to Ottawa to take care of a family member with a chronic condition who just needs someone around in case. In exchange, I get to live rent-free for the winter, and concentrate on my writing rather than this pet-sitting treadmill which is taking up easily half of my working hours and getting me rent plus $20 a day. I can do a LOT better than that by writing.

And I’d get to visit all my friends in Montreal, Toronto, and New York. Heck, I’ve never even BEEN to NYC. Might even see the Maritimes, who knows? If I had a car and a trailer, I’d basically have complete freedom. Could pick up the pet-sitting again, could just do my own thing, wifi permitting. And nothing says I can’t do some custom, hackery renos on the trailer and/or car.

So, since there’s a hard deadline, and a three thousand mile journey, suddenly several decisions have become very simple. If something’s not possible, it’s just not going to happen, so what else can happen and how can that help me? I’m going to miss the coast like anything, but I fully plan on returning when I can. And you know, somehow I have a way of getting things done if I really, really want them.

come see me at social media camp in Victoria, May 5-7

Who likes free lunches? EVERYONE! Who likes saving money? Pretty much those very same people! Now you can attend Canada’s biggest and best purely social media conference in one of the world’s prettiest cities, save $100 on registration, and have lunch on and with me. Given the number of lunches other people have bought for me, it’s kinda the least I can do.

Kittens explain social media, they explain everything.

Kittens explain social media, they explain everything.

Yes kittens, I’m headed back to the #YYJ for another Social Media Camp, Canada’s largest social media conference, in gorgeous downtown Victoria. I know that’s a cliche, but it’s literally true and I don’t know anyone who isn’t thrilled at an excuse to go to this spectacular city.

This year I’ll be speaking on Marketing the Mystery; in other words, how to use social media to drum up interest in something when you’re not actually allowed to say what it is. I’m using the @WhatsPineApple campaign that we’re running for Steve Wozniak as my specific material here. What’s PineApple? All will be revealed by Woz at the Business Rocks conference in Manchester, April 21-22, which means I’ll finally be free to talk about it by the time Social Media Camp rolls around.

social media camp

I may or may not also be doing an informal chat-style talk on how writers can use social media to boost readership and sales. That depends on finding a room for it, or alternately on attendees buying me pints at the pub. I’m easy, and Victoria is the spiritual home of the Canadian brew pub tradition.

AND thanks to organizer Paul Holmes, I’ve got a juicy discount code for you, kittens! Regular camp tix are $699 and go up to $999 for the Rock Star pass, but a limited number of camp tickets have been made available at $599. But with this sweet, sweet discount code you get $100 off whichever package you buy, and you get a free lunch, on me. And with me. This is good news for you, as I am a restaurant snob and will take you somewhere nice, I promise. Your super-secret discount code is: Raincoaster.

Clicky, clicky, you know you want to. $200 off Canada’s best social media conference AND a free lunch with your humble editor in one of the world’s best undiscovered foodie destinations. DO EET. Guy Fawkes mask optional, we’re not formal here.

well, better late than never, eh?

You may not LOL, but I sure did. More than a year after I left the Daily Dot, I’ve been taken off their password system. That’s proactive security, people, that’s some ace security.

Hello from Passpack!
Sorry, but it seems you’ve been removed from Daily_Dot’s connections.
To verify, login to:

https://www.passpack.com/online/

Go to the “People” tab.

You can no longer exchange secure messages or send each other passwords.

Passpack

Gee, what SHOULD I have done, when I had the chance?

In related news, their political reporter (formerly Anonymous reporter) Dell Cameron tried to fisk an article of mine last night, but his tweet had a glaring spelling mistake and apparently he thinks it’s still 2014. Then he deleted it.

Then he tweeted this.