Spanish class and yoga

Yay! So I finally started with this Spanish class. It’s not a “real” class, but we do get our grammar corrected and so on. I was super-smart and so I didn’t bother to bring a notebook… Hopefully I’ll actually do that next week.

There are five people in the class, including the lady who mediates the class and pushes the conversation forward. Kind of like the teacher, but since its not formal lessons, she’s not. But she’s still quite lovely.

Everyone tries hard and I also tried really hard not to natter on in Italian… It’s really confusing. I understood most things that people were talking about but when I tried to speak it just came out wrong. Oh well, first try, and next week should go better.

In the meantime I have also bought some lessons online so I can physically do some worksheets. I find that reading and writing have always come asker than speaking (with exception obviously when I was too young to read and write), so hopefully this will help me improve too.

The goal is to become fluent and comfortable. And I expect with a chill learning environment I should be able to get there!

As for yoga, I try, but it’s no good. I have varied and sundry cheerleaders, all who want me to join them for a class. Just one class. And I cannot seem to do it. I sued to go weekly and I loved it, but no dice thus far. We’ll see if I can’t turn that around sooner rather than later.

Also, it’s freezing again, so scratch that bout fixing up my bike… I’ll wait!!

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My bike is grosssss

Luckily I found something awesome: how to spring clean your bike! YAY!

I was so excited to get that sucker out and take it for a spin last week but the whole health situation remains le crap. I am ever-so-slowly attempting to get better. But I dunno when that will be… In the meantime I just spent like eighty gajillion dollars on vitamins, am drinking tea like it’s my job, and am getting excellent number of hours of sleep every night (i.e. as much as my body will let me). I am addicted my white noise app. And cleaning like a mofo (what I did most of this weekend).

I have also had quite the shocking excellently pleasant surprise this weekend, and I’ll probably manage to move out by year-end! Pretty psyched, but I can’t really talk details either. I do need to book bank appointments though, so that’s a little stressful (but in a good way?!).

In other news, I am so excited to get on my bike soon. If you see some crazy girl panting up a hill in heels, please don’t sexually harass me! (Trust me, I’m not asking for it!)

No luck

So no luck with Spanish or knife-throwing or much else this week. I was so sick over the weekend I couldn’t do laundry. I tried to do yoga one evening and nearly ended up choking from coughing.

I guess the only plus side is the weather. And the fact that I got to break in a new pair of heels.

I know it’s silly, but it makes a difference for me. At barely 5″2 (whatever, my drivers license says 157cm, you do the math), an extra 2-5 inches is more than welcome. I can actually reach things, look people in the eye and my pants (which I always have to shorten) don’t drag on the floor. I feel like much less of a pipsqueak! My (younger) brother is also much less likely to pat me on the head. Like I’m some kind of cute little pet.

It also makes a difference in how I dress. I spent a year before working in what was essentially a windowless dungeon (the overhead fluorescents were turned off because they messed up the colours on our screens) with 8-14 men. I tried pretty hard (at least until summer came along) to dress like a guy and fit in. In the end I didn’t need to, but I always felt that making an effort was pointless when everyone else that I worked with directly was hanging in baggy jeans and hoodies. Now heels are just part of the equation and I can actually wear my whole closet again. It’s refreshing!

So that was the whole point of learning to walk in my pretty shoes properly. I figured if I wanna dress like a lady, I might as well learn how to walk like one too.

Time to get my bike going! Oh and I have money advice (ha!)

Hey! It’s lovely out, so I figure it’s time to get my bike in order! Pretty exciting, since I don’t even know how to pump a tire…

Also, I am learning to be more careful with my shoes. Spraying them with waterproofing stuff and you know, actually cleaning off the winter gunk.

I’ve been sick recently, so I haven’t started with the Spanish conversation group yet. I do have a trainer appointment booked for Friday, but I am really concerned that I’ve left my training too late. Let’s see if I can squeeze in some ironing and yoga tonight though!

Oh, and I’m getting serious about learning about my money. I’ve been tracking my spending rather judiciously (um and so is mint.com), and I’m on my way to starting a budget. Like a proper one. We’ll see how it it goes…! Kind of concerned there, but hey, it has to happen, and at least it’s happening now. Plus I have been bugging my brother to explain some accounting stuff to me and basic economics. I’ve never taken an economics or finance class in my life, so whatever little I’ve gleaned til now has been through osmosis. But it all boils down to this: interest payments suck, so pay your bills, and especially your credit card on time. If you don’t think you can pay it off, don’t freakin’ buy it. And that was it at the tender young age of 18 when I first received a piece of plastic with my name and an expiry date on it.

Sound advice, no? Mind you at that age I was just buying flights, booze and shoes with my credit card.

Albatross – Big Wreck

March hasn’t been treating me well. Its just little thing upon little thing that eventually built up into a huge ball of stress.

It started off with the flu, which normally isn’t that big of a deal but this one hit me with a ton of bricks. For four hours I called my bathroom floor my bed. Eventually got up and went back into my bedroom and was bed ridden for about 12 hours. I tried to get up several times to grab some water, I was really dehydrated, but I literally could not do it. Such a simple task diminished by my sickness. Eventually I was able to make it out of bed, took me half an hour to pour myself a glass of water. Luckily Brian came over after work to help me out.

The next morning I woke up, still feeling sick, but had to head into work. I couldn’t afford to take off another day. Put my keys in the ignition, turned, didn’t start. Turned it off. Did it again. I think I did this about a total of 10 times, You know you’re crazy when you expect a different outcome every time! Called CAA and they drove me to one of their shops. 800$ later…

The icing on the cake though was an encounter with an old family member whom I haven’t talked to in a couple of years. To make a long story short, I ended up crying my eyes out of frustration.

Because of this financial set back, I had to cancel my dinner party that I planned for the end of the month. I’m fairly upset about this, but it’s gone beyond my control. I have tried to look for other make up gigs on the side to help me out with this but I’ve had no luck for this month, only next. On top of this I’m also trying to find a place, setting up viewings, etc. It feels like I’m working three jobs and it’s getting overwhelming. I have to give Brian some credit for stepping up to the plate and helping out with finding a place. Taking a little bit off my plate is definitely helping.

I have also decided to take my taxes off of my hand this year, less stress to deal with. So happy that I did!

 In the midst of March being a goal crusher, I have still been able to do my on going goals, which is better than nothing. I just hope that things will turn around!

Big money. Big money. No Whammy. Stop!

Chugging along

This week, I’ve been in touch with my grandma (she loves my haircut), and have signed up for a lunchtime conversation group to get better at speaking Spanish. Considering my Spanish currently sounds like this, it can only be a good thing:

Aside: what is with this awesome workplace?! A social group that caters to people who aren’t super-perky or outgoing all the time, and language improvement social lunchtime? Amazing!

So I will be starting that soon, next week actually. I was gonna go to yoga on Sunday, but the time difference was killing me (also apparently I was sick: see blown-out eardrums and glands that wish to make an ALIEN appearance). So I will try to make up for that this evening or tomorrow. Depending on how I feel.

Also, I’ve been calling around to driving schools. It seems they’ve changed the rules and they are not allowed to come pick you up or drop you off anymore. You have to go to their office apparently and then end your lesson at their office too. Screw that. I have to say, I’m really disappointed, cause when I was first taking lessons that wouldn’t have been a problem. Now it’s beyond inconvenient and I find it to be a real hindrance. I mean I have to the time to take a one-hour lesson, but not if it also includes a 1+ hour return commute to your school!

In other news, I’ve been keeping up my volunteering. Slow and steady, but I like what I’m doing. I’m also looking up charities for my donation. I have a couple in mind, and have just discovered http://www.charitynavigator.org/ so that I can choose an organization that follows through. I find the whole Kony 2012 scandal* has increased the need for charities to be super careful.

Oh haha, on a final note I just realized that the title of this post ties in perfectly to Tuesday, where I got to learn about train systems around the world! Fun fact: Did you know they don’t really use roundhouses anymore? That was probably one of my favourite parts of Thomas the Tank (now Thomas and Friends), aside from both Ringo and George Carlyle being the little conductors!

* Yes, thank you for spreading awareness to those who didn’t already know. But if you’re going to be part of an NGO who wants to give aid and raise public awareness, be super careful with your actions and ensure transparency in every step. If you think I’m being callous about this, feel free to write to me about this, and I’ll be happy to explain my perspective on these matters.