Thursday, June 3, 2010

Still Alive

Well, it's been a while. Managed to survive my first year at school with okay marks. Only one year to go. There's a cat on my lap who wants me to stop typing.

Today's rant is about Bell Canada. See, when we moved to Toronto, we decided to just bring over my brother's Bell account. But my brother's account had satellite TV on it because he shared with three other guys. We don't need satellite TV (nor can we afford it). However, Bell had scammed him into signing a 5-year contract over the phone (yeah, I know) and wanted to charge him $200 to cancel the satellite. So my brother had it disabled instead, which was supposed to end in March.

Come March, no notice that it had been reinstated. Nothing until April, when suddenly we got hit with a double bill. My brother contacts them and explains that we don't use the satellite. Too bad, Bell said. Cancel it and pay $200 or we'll keep charging you. And no we won't disable it again.

So they didn't. Now we have a $400 bill for something we cannot fucking use. Sure, maybe we should've just cancelled and paid the $200, but the whole point of this exercise in futility was to avoid having to pay a stupid amount of money for a stupid reason. Anyway, my brother said he would handle it. He'd been told he could get the charges waived if he got a letter from our old building stating we weren't allowed satellite dishes (which we weren't) and from the new building stating the same (we aren't; we face the wrong way in both situations).

Yesterday, someone calls the apartment. My brother's out so I pick up. The guy says he's calling from Bell regarding our account and that we owe $400. I tell him that I don't handle it, my brother does; his name is on the bill. Bell-guy then asks if I'm [my name]. My name is not on the bill, Bell. Where did you get it? Furthermore, why did you then ask if I could pay off the entire bill immediately? Fuck you. My name is not on the bill and I just told you that I don't handle it. Don't try to go behind the bill-holder's back just to get your money.

Anyway, so my brother just spent another 2 hours on the phone with Bell and the only thing we got off the bill was $50. Thanks, Bell. Thanks for the omissions and the run-around and the lying and the charging us for something we cannot fucking use. It's not like we're a college student and a guy who can only get odd jobs thanks to this shitty economy.

Oh wait.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day of College

All that stress over nothing... I'm so tired now. You suck, brain.

So I went to bed at half midnight, tossed until 1:15, dozed off until 2-something, then slept until about 8:30. Got up, saw my hair was a mess, ran it under water, sat around naked for a while, then found some clothes and went to get my bus pass, finally. Success! Then I sat around for a bit longer before sucking it up and going to catch the bus up to Seneca. Success! I went to the bookstore to get my PIN for the upcoming class. Succ-holy shit look at all the people.

Made it to my first class in the portable by sheer luck, since I passed a sign pointing the way out to it. I was not late, which I was afraid I would be, thanks to the crowds. Why, oh why, did I assume everyone else was like me and got their student ID stuff done before school started? Anyway, spent 40 minutes in class fighting with the slow-ass computer, half-listening to the TA. It was just orientation anyway, and that class is basically self-learn. So the majority of it is done online at home. Awesome. No procrastinating now!

Tomorrow I will actually be attending a real class (for two hours, ugh) and hopefully they'll explain the library tours we apparently have to go on before my two-hour Thursday class. If not, guess I'll be asking the teacher. You'd think they'd, you know, send the information on that with the semester schedule.

So yes, that's basically what I'll be doing every week. It's so weird to think of only going to a specific class once a week. All I've got for reference, after all, is high school, where you went to four classes a day. I definitely like this system better.

Now if only I could find someone to drive me back and forth so I don't have to take the shitty buses...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm Rich, I'm Rich!

Finally got a call from the Ministry, and all is forgiven. They're going to give me $350 a week (a week!) for my schooling, plus paid tuition/books/fees/etc. I was expecting half of that. I can actually get myself a decent comp and some new clothes now, and I won't have to stress so much about getting a job in order to keep paying my rent.

I have to somehow make it to Kitchener to finalize this deal though. My dad might take me, but first I need to get from here to Bramalea so my mom can pick me up. According to Google Maps (which really kind of suck for anything but driving directions) taking buses there will take 2 and a half hours. Holy sheeit. Not to mention I'll have to take something like 4 different buses and I still don't have a bus pass. Not much point getting one now either, month's almost over. We'll see what the parental units say about it.

Also, three cheers for the brother unit, who managed to reformat my computer after the Cryptor virus took it down. We got the better of you, you fucking twat of a virus. Of course, I've spent the past two hours putting stuff back on the comp, in order of priority: Firefox, AIM, AVG, Spybot, bookmarks. Fortunately I was able to save all my files online, which is good when that's at least 7 years worth of work. Need to find a copy of MSWord though, so I can put these files back on my comp.

In writing news, I have two possible short stories. I was going to write them for submission to an e-zine, but I'm not going to be able to get them done in time. Still, they might be fun. One involves new vampire character Ginn, in a Western setting. The other was inspired by Batman Begins, but is not a superhero story. More an excuse for me to write about duct-taping a guy to something (thanks Jarhead) and blowing up New York City. Might need to actually know the layout of NYC for that one, note to self. At any rate, it involves people from another world, ooooh.

Anywibble, it's half midnight here and I'm only still up because I've screwed up my sleeping patterns. Guess I should head off to bed, my neck hurts.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

John C Wright Is At It Again

I knew the man was an idiot, but it seems he has a head made of solid stone. If you would like your eyes to cross, you may go here:

That is a whole lot of shit to basically say, "I'm still right and you lot are all wrong." He continues to use demeaning language to describe homosexuals, even while claiming he has no problem with them. In fiction, at least, I think he made it quite clear what he feels about them in real life. And a commenter who points this out ( gets leaped on by John's slavering sycophants. I can practically see the condescension oozing off the page.

Never have I felt so much like I am yelling into the void.
Got the wall fixed, huzzah! Though the guy showed up while I was still in boxers and tank top because the building manager apparently doesn't know what '24 hours notice' is. My brother let him in then just waltzed into my room to tell me, despite the closed door, literally a second after I'd put a shirt on. But the wall is now fixed and painted over. Nice guy too, he was telling me he moved here from Iraq in 2003 and his English wasn't so good. I was like, 'your English is great, man, I just suck with heavy accents.'

What else was I bitching about... Oh. Contacted my counselor, she says I just have to wait. 'Cause when it comes right down to it, MTCU still sucks.

In writing news, I transferred a story from my laptop to this desktop (because my laptop is missing two keys and I can't afford a new one) so I can go over it and see if it's worth rewriting. Maybe for NaNo this year, I still don't have a plot for that and it's in only 3 months. I'm pretty sure I had the plot to The Heartless Boy by this time last year.

I've also signed up for a freelance article-writing gig, I just have to decide if it's worth it. Simplest pay is 3USD for every article of 250 words, but it can be higher depending on skill level, article length, and client budget. Obviously this isn't going to make me a millionaire, but it would be some extra cash and would start getting my name out there. Even if it is for writing random articles instead of stories.

And there's a fledgling e-zine that I have a lead on that pays $40 per accepted story. That's not bad at all. It's themed writing, but I figure I can pull that off. The editor says she's looking for all genres, short stories under 5000 words, just fitting the issue theme. Current themes are Masks/Appearances are Deceiving (deadline Sept 1, so if I'm going to try for that one I best get my ass in gear) and Winter Solstice (little more time, deadline is Dec 1). Editor also mentioned she'd like more Western stories, and oddly enough, I've been wanting to write something Western-inspired. Fantasy Western, okay, but I think I can pull something off. It's what reminded me of the story I transferred too, as that story is Western themed. I used to read Westerns all the time as a kid; Louis L'Amour, Zane Grey, the Sudden books... Heh, I used to Mary Sue myself into the Sudden books as his daughter, who was just as fast as him. Oh, youth.

Oh, and my Constant Reader did give me some feedback on the Peregrine story. Thanks luv. Now to get myself to edit it. Well, not right away, give it some time to breathe. I have the camera story to edit, or possibly completely rewrite, because it's messy. Very messy. WTF-I-can-do-better messy.

Anyway, blathering on here isn't going to get me anywhere unless I get a whole bunch of readers that lead to a book deal so it's off to stare at my computer screen do some writing.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hot And Bitchy

Well, I finished the Peregrine story. It comes in at 8,491 words, though that's in all its unedited, rambling, run-on sentences glory. I haven't read it over yet, though it's been sent to my Constant Reader. No feedback yet though, I keep forgetting to ask. Next on my plate is more procrastination! possibly the Cirque story. That one was inspired by seeing a presentation of Cirque Du Soleil's KOOZA on TV a few months back. It was awesome. I was literally sitting there with my mouth hanging open. One day I will manage to see some Cirque shows live. Once I actually have some money to spare.

I have a cheque sitting here from EI, but the closest place to deposit it is a half-hour's walk away. And it's too hot for me to even want to walk to the grocery store, let alone half an hour to the ATM and half an hour back home. Supposedly there's a bus that goes close to it, but I'll be damned if I can actually figure out the bus routes around here. I know how to get to the local No Frill's and I know how to get to school, because they're on the same route and the bus stop is right out in the open. Otherwise, I'm hopelessly lost. But once I get my bus pass, I'll try to just take some random buses and figure out the area. Why don't I have my bus pass yet? Well, because they cost a hundred bucks and I don't have my funding yet.


Which reminds me, I need to e-mail my Second Career counselor. But seriously, folks, school starts on September 8th. They sent me an e-mail saying they've received a fee payment, but I was told the Ministry would contact me about going to sign a contract. Lack of communication, thy name is MTCU. That's the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities for those of you not up-to-date on your governmental acronyms.

Speaking of lack of communication, the maintenance crew or the landlords or who-the-fuck-ever around here in charge of repairs, you suck. The wall around my window is literally falling apart and my requests for maintenance have been ignored. I just put in another work order form today. Part of me is going, 'oh I don't want to annoy them I have to live here' and the other part is going, 'bitch do your job!' I also looked over the rental agreement today and apparently their idea of 'within a reasonable time' is 21 days. Really? Really? So if my shower broke, I would have to suck it up for nearly a month? If my oven broke, I would have to live on pre-made foods for a month? What, we don't have a microwave (yet). Am I crazy, or is a wall falling apart something you want to fucking check into?

God I hate the city.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Peregrine Story

The furor over John C. Wright seems to have died down, though I'm sure he'll put his foot in his mouth again at some point. He just seems to be that kind of person. He has updated saying he and his wife are not racist, they have black friends they have been approved to adopt a child from China. I'd like to say that's a good thing, but I'm a big believer in nurture forming who you are. So let's just not go there.

The funny thing about this whole situation is that Wright may have inspired me to get off my ass and write a short story that's been floating around inside my head for a while now. It was originally inspired by that other bastion of homophobia, Fred Phelps. Trust me, the revulsion I feel for John C. Wright is nothing compared to the utter loathing I feel for Fred Phelps. It is sincere, red-tinted, chest-tightening hatred. I will cheer the day he dies. It is this hatred that, after reading an interview with one of his sons a while back, gave me the idea for this short story. The son was one of two (I think) that had escaped the Phelps cult and his stories were, quite frankly, horrifying. And let's face it, I wanted to write a revenge fantasy.

But I'm lazy, and I'm a bad procrastinator, and I didn't get around to it. Until one night, when I had nothing better to do, and I followed that link on Metaquotes. Life works in funny ways. At any rate, I've written 6, 699 words on what is currently just known as the Peregrine story, and I think I'll probably finish it today. I don't know if it's good (I haven't read it over yet). I don't know if it's publishable or if I'll even try to get it published. But I feel good for writing it, even if it goes into a drawer and is meant only for me, and possibly my Constant Reader and best friend.

And also writing-related, I submitted a short story entitled The Pusher to the British Fantasy Society's annual short story competition. I won't know if I've placed until September, but I will be. so. excited if I do. I keep telling myself that the e-mail I got from the editor confirming my submission and letting me know that he'd fixed some wonky formatting for me is a Good Sign. Right? Right?! Don't burst my bubble. This might be the kick in the ass I need.