A below average blog post

So today is one of those days when I really don’t have enough time to write a blog post.  Terribly sad, I know.  And I know you’re thinking “Um, but, isn’t this a blog post right here, right now?  Am I imagining things?  Did you not take time to write these very words on this very screen?  Am I losing my mind?  Stop contradicting yourself!  What the hell is wrong with you?!”  Well, yes, that is a very good point.  I do apologize.  You’re absolutely right.  I guess what I meant was I don’t have enough time to write a good blog post.  In fact, I’m running out of time as I’m typing this right now.  Good thing I’m a fast typer.

So why bother to write a shitty blog post if that’s all that I have time for?  Why not just simply wait for tomorrow?  There’s always tomorrow.  I could indeed just wait until then and write something that actually has substance, take the time to post relevant photos, links, and set proper tags and categories as well.  That I could definitely do.  There is no need for me to write what I’m writing right now.

But I feel like if I put it off for a day, tomorrow I’ll feel the same way, and then I’ll put it off for another day.  And then before you know it, a week will have gone by and I won’t have posted anything new at all.  And I don’t want that to happen.  So I’m trying to commit to writing a new post everyday.  Consequently, some of them end up being like this one here.  Pointless.

But it’s okay.  I think you need posts like this one.  Because they can’t all be great.  If they were all great, then none of them would be great.  You need ones like this to stay grounded, so that the good ones can stand out by comparison.  Because it’s all relative.  Maybe you’d prefer that I just didn’t post if I have nothing relevant to say.  But in case you’ve forgotten, the title of my blog is “Random and unnewsworthy”.  So is anything I say ever really relevant?  Think about that.

Picking up the couches, Part 2: Actually getting the couches

Read Part 1 to find out how Translink screwed us over…

So me made it down to Budget, where my dad filled out forms and whatnot to rent the van.  It was a big van.  Well duh, it was a moving van.  But I’d never ridden in on before.  It made rattling sounds as if there was furniture already in it that was moving, even though it was completely empty.  That was a little unnerving.

Budget van that we rented

And then we got caught in what was pretty much the worst traffic ever.  It literally took forever to get to Coquitlam.  Okay, not literally forever, or else we still wouldn’t be there.  I don’t want to pull a Robin from How I Met Your Mother and use the word literally in every sentence when really I don’t mean it.  We went through New Westminster where cars were literally not moving at all.  Okay, I’ll stop.  But you get the idea, traffic was at it’s worst.  I’m not sure what happened, an accident or what, but it was awful.  It took like two hours.

When I saw Queensborough Landing, I thought about asking my dad to just drop me off at Walmart & pick me up after he’d picked up the couches.  But we weren’t in the right lane to be able to go there.  Darn.  And later, ironically, we passed by the Army & Navy in New Westminster.  I had been to the one downtown that morning, where I had purchased eleven pairs of shoes.  I asked my dad if he could just let me off there so I could go look at shoes in this location as well.  I was half joking, half serious at this point.

Some of the shoes that I bought

I cannot express enough how terrible the traffic was.  But in any case, we made it eventually.  My uncle was there to help my dad move the couches.  Why was I there?  You know, I’m not really sure.  Since I happened to be home that day I asked my dad if he needed any help and then ended up going.  Earlier on, he was going to take my brother, but he had just finished school and so he told him it was okay because I would go instead. He said my brother didn’t have to come since my uncle would be there to help move them.  And then I asked, “Why am I going then?” and he said, “I don’t know, just coming along for the ride?  Navigating in traffic?”.

So my dad and my uncle lifted the couches out of the apartment and to the van.  And I stood around doing nothing.  Well no, I stayed in the apartment to make sure no one tried to break in while they were gone.  That’s important, right?  Although I supposed my grandma could have just locked the door and taken her key.  But because I was there, she didn’t have to.  Oh, I also carried the cushions for the couch.  So there, I helped.  I wasn’t completely useless, although I came pretty close.

Couch cushions that I helped carry so I wasn't completely useless

Luckily, traffic going back home was not nearly as bad.  But by the end of it I was so sick of sitting in that van.  When we had to wait forever for the bus earlier, only to not be let on, I was very annoyed.  I still am.  My dad never takes the bus ever, except in situations like this one where there was a good reason.  I thought after seeing how unreliable it was and how long you had to wait sometimes, he’d have an appreciation for what I went through every day, and how much patience it required.

The funny thing is, I ended up having a greater appreciation for what he goes through every day and how much patience he has.  I mean, driving two hours in traffic just to pick up some couches.  Not that he does that particular thing every day, but still.  That takes tremendous patience and he’s always driving around somewhere to pick up someone or something, working, and running errands non-stop.  I mean I already knew that, but sitting in traffic that day made me think about it more.

The couches are still sitting in our garage right now.  My brother helped my dad move them there from the van the next morning.  There’s no hurry to move them into the actual living room yet.  It’s not like they’re going anywhere.  They may be heavy, but at least there’ll be no more sitting in traffic in order to get them to where they need to be.

Couches sitting in our garage

Picking up the couches, Part 1: Why I hate Translink

So on Wednesday, I went with my dad to my grandma’s apartment in Coquitlam to pick up some couches.  She’s moving, and she’s giving us her couches because she doesn’t need them anymore and they’re nicer than the ones we currently have.  But we had to rent a van in order to fit them in.  So we went down to Budget to rent one.  We were going to take the bus down there, since there wasn’t really any parking room for us to leave our van while renting theirs.

And so we went to the bus stop.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Did I ever mention how terrible the 401 bus service is?  I’m sure I have.  And that’s an understatement.  But yes.  The bus was supposed to come at 2:35pm.  But it didn’t.  The next one was scheduled for 2:49pm.  Also it was raining.  And my grandma was expecting us.

When the first one didn’t show up, I tweeted Translink to ask them if it was delayed.  Because one time I updated my status to “That awkward moment when even translink won’t reply your text messages”.  Because normally you’d text 33333 with your stop number and then receive an instant reply of when your bus is coming.  Translink had sent me a tweet in response to my “That awkward moment..” tweet saying “But we always respond to your tweets!”.  Which isn’t actually true.  But nevertheless, I took them on their word and decided to tweet them.  Besides, if I were to text them, it would tell me the scheduled time, but wouldn’t be able to confirm whether or not it was running on schedule.

Eventually, they replied my tweet and informed me that the bus was running about 12 minuted behind schedule.  I replied them and told them that it had been 20 minutes.  And then we saw the bus turn the corner.  And it spent forever at the stop prior to ours.  Never take the bus when it’s around 3pm.  It will be filled with school kids.  And it will be delayed because of the school kids.  It’s worth rescheduling everything just to avoid this.  Trust me.

And so finally, the bus pulled up to our stop.  And the driver opened the back door and let two passengers off.  But he refused to open the front door.  It was only me and my dad at that stop.  But he wouldn’t let us on.  We were standing right next to the front doors.  I could see there was room inside the bus, especially since he had just let off two people.  I tapped on the door to get his attention.  He just looked at us and gave a sort of wave of his hand before driving off, leaving us there.  I think I yelled “We’ve been waiting 30 minutes!” as he drove away, not giving a shit.

It’s not as if there was another bus behind him.  There wasn’t.  And how can you not have room for two more people when you’ve just let two people off?  Also, it was not a matter of trying to save time, because in the time it took for the two people to get off, we could have gotten on.  He had to stop there anyway.  There was absolutely no reason for him to have not opened the doors to us.  It’s his job and it was incredibly frustrating, especially since we had been waiting for so long.

This happened at around 2:50 or so.  We ended up driving and parking and then having to take the Canada Line anyway to get down to Budget.  We just wasted a lot of time waiting for nothing.  I tweeted Translink again, informing them of what just happened, or trying to as best I could within a 140 character limit.  I don’t know if they really got the picture.  But they tweeted me back saying sorry that happened and giving me the customer service link.

I’ve been referred to the customer service link before.  And I’ve filled out the form.  And I’m pretty sure they haven’t done anything about it.  I think they have my name on file right now for complaints about the system, and likely just ignore anything I happen to say anymore.  I have yet to fill out the form.  I should go and do it, maybe after this blog post.  But I don’t even know if there’s any point.  I was able to get the bus number of the bus that he was driving.  It was R7103.  Maybe that way they can figure out which driver it was.  I would hate for the wrong person to get blamed.  If anyone even does get blamed to begin with.

Can anyone think of any possible reasonable explanation as to why the driver wouldn’t have let us on the bus?  You know, other than the fact that he’s an asshole?

Stay tuned for Part 2, if you care at all whether we managed to make it to pick up the couches…

Customer service complaint form that I've yet to fill out

How I celebrate National Prime Rib Day

So if you have me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll know that I sometimes update my status about various random national holidays.  Mostly food related ones.  Why?  Because I find them interesting and because I can.  There’s this great food blog that lists the national food days daily, as well as this website that has a list of the dates.  There are various other sources as well, but these two are the best.

Since I’ve been updating my status so much about these things, I thought, why not blog about them on occasion as well?  Because I find them interesting and because I can.  Why deprive my blog readers of knowing what national food holiday happens to be today and what I think of it and how I will acknowledge it?  That just doesn’t seem fair.  You have a right to know as well.

So today happens to be National Prime Rib Day.  It would be the perfect excuse to go out for a nice prime rib steak.  Not that you really need an excuse.  But I can’t really afford it, seeing as how I went and spent all my money on shoes.  So no prime rib for me.  Terribly sad, I know.

Prime rib with vegetables soup

But it’s okay.  There are ways around it.  I found a way that I can still celebrate National Prime Rib Day.  With Campbell’s Chunky soup.  The prime rib one.  Okay, so I’m not that poor that I need to eat soup every meal, but I think this is a nice way to compromise.  Besides, I like Campbell’s Chunky soup.  I feel like football player when I eat it.  Though I have to argue that it doesn’t exactly eat like a meal, as I can eat the whole can and still be hungry.  So really those commercials with the football players are false advertising.

But yes.  That’s how I’m celebrating.  Maybe I’ll go out for a prime rib steak dinner another time, after I’ve paid off my Visa bill for shoes that I bought.  Don’t get me wrong, I would never starve just so I could buy shoes.  I’m not one of those people.  I love food too much.  I just don’t need to eat fancy meals all the time.  I was going to say I’m a struggling student, but I’m not.  I’ve graduated.  Really I’m just a struggling person.  And not just financially speaking.  I tend to struggle with life in general.  But then, who doesn’t?

Soup that eats like a meal?

Army & Navy Shoe Sale, Part 3: The Aftermath

If you haven’t already, go read Part 1

And then when you’re done reading that, go read Part 2

Or don’t.  I really don’t care what order you read these in.

Travelling home with my giant plastic bags

And so I emerged from the store, with my two giant Army & Navy shopping bags, fearful that they were dangerously close to breaking.  Really they should have given me at least three bags.  The bags were quite weak, and eleven pairs of shoes could easily rip through them, especially the ones with heels.  Also, it was raining.  A lot.  So I had to somehow maneuver and hold my umbrella, my purse, as well as the giant plastic bags filled with shoes that I was trying so desperately to keep intact.

The 4 bags I came home with, 3 of which were filled with shoes

I had another bag with me, that I sometimes carry and use if I buy a couple grocery items, and so I stopped and put a few of the shoes in there, so as to even out the weight of the bags.  And then I held that bag in my right hand with my umbrella, and held the other two in my left hand, getting a good grip on them so they wouldn’t break away.  I don’t know why it had to rain.  I kind of wanted to wear one of the new pairs right away, but a lot of them were heels and not good for walking, especially in the rain while carrying too many things.  But I did stop at the side of the road to change into one of the comfortable pairs.

There are so many different doors & entrances to the store

Now, keep in mind I had been up since 5:39 am, and I had just been through quite an ordeal.  I was so disoriented upon leaving the sale, that I started walking in the wrong direction, further down East Hastings, instead of of back towards Waterfront where I was supposed to go.  Yeah, I was heading towards the police station and the fire hall.  Because I was so used to exiting the store from the other side, that I got confused.  I soon realized my mistake and thought “Wait, this isn’t right…”.  I seriously think that all my brain power went into finding and deciding on shoes, as well as fighting my way amongst the other shoppers.

How was I supposed to remember which direction to walk in once I left?

But it’s okay, I turned around and headed back in the right direction.  I was just annoyed at having added more steps to my walk.  Don’t get me wrong, I love walking, but not in the rain with two bags full of shoes.  People must have thought I was crazy.  Keep in mind, I was also still wearing my “Keep Calm & Buy Shoes” t-shirt.  They must have thought I was some sort of freak.  At one point, this guy asked me if I was okay.  I must have appeared really drained and out of it, lugging the bags of shoes and trying to get where I needed to be.

I should have turned left upon leaving the store

Normally, I would walk all the way back to Waterfront, but I was so tired that I finally found a bus stop and stopped there to collect myself.  Also, I looked down at the new shoes I was wearing, and the rain had hit them hard.  They were leather and I was worried I was ruining them, so I changed back into my black flats, hoping to preserve the new pair.  When the bus pulled up, I got on, and then I heard someone yell towards me.  I had left my umbrella on the seat at the bus stop, and this woman had been kind enough to retrieve it for me.  I was very grateful, as the rain did not let up as I made my way home.

My brown flats are okay after being attacked by the rain

When I finally got home, my mom asked me how many pairs of shoes I bought.  I said I didn’t know.  She asked “What do you mean you don’t know?”.  And then she asked if I bought ten pairs & I said “Yeah, I think so”.  And I remembered that I was supposed to look for runners for her, but neglected to do so.  But my mission that day was to scope out the pairs on the racks that might not be there or restocked the following day.  I intend to go back and look at the runners and boots and flip flops and such that I know they have plenty of in stock.  And I will find a good pair of runners for my mom because I’m a nice person.

These black heels will go with anything

I showed her a couple pairs of heels that I bought and asked if either would work for her, cause she needs a pair to wear to my brother’s high school graduation ceremony this year.  But apparently neither of them worked.  Oh well, I tried.  My mom, my sister, and I all have the same shoe size.  So that’s one of the ways that I justify my purchases, by telling myself that I can let them borrow them as well, so it’s not just for me.  Even though it is mainly for me, especially the heels, since they tend not to wear heels.  But still.  They could if they wanted to.

I love purple shoes

Later that day, my dad asked me where I was that morning.  Because he was obviously surprised when I was up before 6 am.  I told him I went to Army & Navy.  For the shoe sale.  Downtown.  And he asked if I went with anyone.  And I said no.  And he was like “You went all the way the way downtown just to buy shoes?”.  Yes.  Yes I did.  I guess he thought it would have made more sense if I’d gone shopping with a friend.  But he doesn’t understand that it’s one of those things I had to do alone.  I also explained to him about the VIP thing, as to why I was there so early.  He also tried to ask how many pairs I bought.   I think I said I don’t know, and then when he guessed, I settled on saying I bought ten.  I don’t know why that somehow sounds better than eleven.

I am the proud owner of 11 new pairs of shoes

So I am now content with my shoe purchases.  People are surprised when I say I bought eleven pairs.  But whatever.  Go ahead and judge.  I’m happy with purchases.

Stay tuned for Part 4…

Army & Navy Shoe Sale, Part 2: Crazy

Read Part 1 if you haven’t already.  

The shoppers started rushing in at 8am

As 8 am hit, the sale became open to the public.  The public referring to all the crazy people who had been standing outside, lined up in the rain.  They ran in.  Literally, I saw people running in.  As if they were running to catch a bus or a train or a plane that a loved one was on and they had to stop them to tell them they love them before they leave forever and it’s too late like in one of those romantic comedies.  Yes.  Lucky for me, I was sitting down at that point, so I didn’t get knocked over or stepped on or anything.

The place filled up pretty quickly

I looked around and I could see people everywhere.  It wasn’t safe for me to get up anymore.  If I were to wander away from my seat by just a few steps, I would lose my seat, or worse, my shoes.  Not gonna happen.  It’s okay, looking at the shoes in front of a mirror was not essential.  I could manage.  It was okay.  Everything was fine.  Or at least that’s what I kept telling myself.

I was surrounded by people

I had a problem.  I couldn’t narrow it down.  And as I looked around at all the crazy people around me, I realized something.  I was crazy.  And I hate to admit it, but I think I might have been the craziest person there.  Why?  While everyone else had one basket full of shoes, I had two.  And people commented on it too.  There were two nice ladies I was seated next to who I began to talk to.  And one of them looked at my full baskets and asked “Do you have a limit at all?”.  And I said “Yeah, sort of..”.  And she said “What’s your limit?”.  And I said “I don’t know…”.

There were too many shoes to choose from

We had to be careful too.  Because at this point, employees were walking around, picking up and taking away shoes and baskets that had been discarded.  They would ask if you were done with your stuff, and then take what you didn’t want.  But when approached, everyone becomes so protective of their shoes, as if the employee is a predator threatening to take away their baby.  You don’t want your shoes taken away while you’re still deciding.  There’s no way you’ll be able to find them again.  I would hate to have to work there during the sale.  It must suck.  A lot.

How could I possibly decide?

There were also cameras everywhere.  Like a film crew, recording everything.  I don’t know where exactly that footage will end up.  But I hope the part where I was looking bewildered, trying to spot something on a shelf, then realizing the guy had the camera aimed right at my face is edited out.  Because I know that will not be flattering in the least.  They were also going around interviewing people about the sale.  I overheard this girl ask some women if they would mind being interviewed but they declined.  Because they didn’t want to be distracted from their shoes, no doubt.  I might have done it, had they asked me.  But then didn’t.  All the better, as it gave me more time to focus on my shoes.

I can't believe I filled 2 whole baskets of shoes

I tried them all on, weeded out a few, but still had far too many.  I could eliminate those that were uncomfortable and might cut into the back of my feet or squish my toes.  But somehow there were still a lot that I loved.  This sort of thing never happens.  At least not to this extent.  I can see why people go early.  They get in new shipments everyday, but still, if I went tomorrow instead of today, I wouldn’t have been able to find as many good pairs as I did.

My version of a condensed basket of shoes

We sort of had this sense of camaraderie going, those us sitting in that space with our shoes.  Comparing, saying “Oh you have to get those ones!” and “Those are so cute!” and “Are there any more of those ones?”.  And even offering up some pair every so often.  I had some that were maybes or that I’d discarded, so I let another woman try them on.  And this woman let me try on these boots that she wasn’t sure about, just in case she didn’t buy them.

I lined them all up. I couldn't narrow it down any more than this.

At one point, the woman beside me asked if she could try on a pair of shoes in my basket.  I said, “Oh, those are my shoes,” and she said “But can I just try them?”.  And I had to explain to her that by “my shoes”, I didn’t mean I was going to buy them, I meant that I owned them, that they were the ones I walked into the store with that morning.  I knew that was bound to happen.  I overheard another girl say “My fear is that someone’s going to take the shoes I came in with“.  You and me both, sister.

I carried them to the checkout like this

A little later, I had managed to condense everything into one basket.  I told myself that was my limit.  Whatever I could fit into one basket.  Even if that basket was overflowing, apparently.  At one point I just sort of sat there, staring at them.  I knew I was going to buy them all.  I thought about taking them out and trying on each pair again, just to make sure.  But I knew there was no point.  Like it or not, it was going to happen.

With the shoes on the counter, there was no turning back

So I made my way over to the checkout.  It was now or never.  I felt judgement was upon me, as others had just a few pairs they were holding.  I had eleven.  Yes, eleven.  I just counted them again to make sure I got that right.  They advertise the sale as each pair being under $40.  So naturally, I picked up all the pairs that were $39.99.  I showed some hesitancy at the counter, but I gave in.  At least I had the $100 gift card.  I was hoping the girl might have given me the $500 by mistake, but sadly she did not.  Even with the $100 gift card, I probably still spent more than a lot of people there.  Let’s just say my total was under $500.

My 2 giant bags full of shoes

And so I was handed two large bags full of shoes, and sent on my merry way, filled with shame, excitement, happiness, and regret.  It was a confusing mix of emotions.  A shoe sale can do that to a girl.

Stay tuned for Part 3…

Army & Navy Shoe Sale, Part 1: VIP

I think this will be a 3 parter.  Because it’s all too much for just one blog post and I don’t want to overwhelm you.  Well, I guess I don’t really know for sure how many parts this will end up having but 3 sounds like a good number.  Let’s just start with one for now and see where that takes us…

Decided on these shoes to get me through the rain & to the sale

So I woke up this morning and got out of bed at 5:39 am.  Why?  Because I needed to be at the shoe sale by 7:30, so I could get first dibs on shoes.  I got all my stuff together, decided on wearing my reliable flats, and grabbed a granola bar before I headed out the door, just in case I needed sustenance while making my quest.  Caught the bus at 6:22 am and I was off on my way.

You’ll believe what’s in store once you see it

When I got there, I didn’t see a line, and then I realized you had to go to the other entrance.  So I went around and saw all the people waiting.  And then I walked through the dark alley way, because that’s where I was supposed to wait for the VIP entrance.  I was early.  It was 7:10.  I had to wait another 20 minutes for the person to show up.  A couple other girls joined me, cause they had VIP access as well.  Luckily, we were let in at around 7:15, so we didn’t have to wait for too long.

I waited in the alley to be let inside

We headed downstairs.  There were actually quite a few people there who got to be at the sale early.  There must have been a lot of ways to get VIP access.  I guess I just wasn’t aware of what all those were.  I headed for the size 8 shoe racks, and began my quest.  I should have been quicker.  I mean, I wanted to try on every shoe that I possibly could.  There was no looking at prices, there was trying it on, seeing if it fit and looked good, and then tossing it in my basket.  That’s how it’s done.  Time to deliberate and eliminate came later.  Much later.

I headed straight for the size 8 shoe racks

As I checked the time, I realized I should hurry up.  I was running out of time before the sale actually started.  Once 8 am hit, the hoards of people would come rushing in, disturbing the relative peace that we now had.  Everyone was nice.  I got compliments on my shirt and everything seemed to be okay.  I overheard another woman say “This is what heaven is like”.

My favourite t-shirt

All too soon, I realized that I had a problem.  While other women had a few pairs of shoes in their baskets, mine was full.  Like, full to the point of overflowing.  So I got a second basket.  And before long, that one was pretty full as well.  To the point where it was difficult to carry them around.  Yeah.  But what could I do?  I wasn’t done.  I needed to scope out more.  Before the other people came in.  What was I supposed to do?

I started trying on shoes

I also got to meet Heather, the girl who won the Facebook contest.  We both got to collect our gift cards there.  I congratulated her.  You know, instead of being like “Bitch, that prize should have been mine!”.  Because I’m not a mean person.  And she was really nice too, it’s always good when a nice person wins.  Apparently she was an elementary school teacher, and all the kids had Facebook, and she had a great support network.  Hence all the votes.  That, and her photo being professional and gorgeous.  I’ve always said I didn’t want to go into teaching, but now I have at least one reason.  Multiple votes for Facebook contests.  I’ll keep that in mind.

It was nice to have space to try them on and walk around

And so I continued my venture, and when I finally had too much in both my baskets, I made my way over to get a seat and figure it all out.  I tried them on, compared, debated, trying to make a decision.  I overheard someone saying they wanted to finish and go before 8 am, before all the crazies came in.  It was true.  The crazies were not those of us who were there super early before the sale.  We were the sane ones, the ones who were smart enough to find a way to get VIP access so that we didn’t have to wait in line.  The crazies were the ones who would line up even earlier and wait in the rain.

They were all so pretty

As I sat there trying on my shoes, I realized there was no way I could possibly be done by 8.  It wasn’t going to happen.  Maybe if they had let me start at 6 am, then I could have.  If ever there’s an option to start at 6 am, I would totally do it.  Sure it’s early, but it’s worth it to avoid the crowds.  I think I hate crowds more than I hate mornings.  I still can’t believe I was up before 6 am.  I feel bad for people who have to do that on a daily basis for work.  I never could.  But imagine getting to go shoe shopping every morning instead.  If that’s not an incentive, then I don’t know what is.

I made my way through the size 8 section, scoping out all the racks

And all too soon, it was 8 am.  And the madness continued and began to escalate further…

Stay tuned for Part 2…