New Job: Communications Manager

I recently applied to and was interviewed for a new job which I subsequently was offered and accepted. I will be the new Communications Manager for Envirotech Office Solutions. I have big shoes to fill as they bring the role in-house, but I’m very excited about the opportunity.

I will start working there in the middle of March as I wind down at rocketgenius. The decision was super difficult. I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to take the offer at Envirotech, but I’m confident in rocketgenius’ continued success, and this is an opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up.

What does Envirotech Office Solutions do? They provide businesses with a way to purchase both re-manufactured and new office furniture. Envirotech has worked with companies like Telus, Logitech, Air Canada and Hewlett-Packard on design projects that revitalized their offices, while also reducing waste and saving the environment.

I am looking forward to pushing myself to expand my abilities, share what I’ve learned with the Envirotech team, and help the company grow. I will continue to share my experiences there, so keep checking back for more information on how I’m doing in the new role.

WordPress Theme Changes Again

I’ve gone back to a customized Confit theme on my blog because I find it easier to read and navigate. I find it cleaner than the new Twenty-Fourteen and easier to customize and personalize.

I know the team worked hard to create a really nice new default theme for WordPress, but it didn’t work for me. I hope you all enjoy this design as much as I do.

Thank you all for continuing to read my blog.

Moving My Distributel Service

Despite it costing a bit more money to have Internet in Georgetown, Distributel is the company that I decided to go with after talking to some of Annie’s family and I’ve written about their service a few times on this blog. Feel free to search out my Distributel posts if you are interested.

Today, I had to contact them about moving my Internet from my apartment to the new place I’ll be living, and I did so using their chat system. In less than ten minutes, I had a confirmation that my services would be moved.

While their moving fee of $60 is a bit higher than I’d expect, I am going to swallow it because I didn’t have to waste any time calling them, sitting on hold, and slowly reciting all of my information. Using their web chat system was super easy and seamless, and I really appreciate that they could do such a thing for me through that service.

The agent I had, Genevieve, was super helpful, easy to talk to, and fast at responding. She made sure multiple times that I understood what I was asking for, what I’d get and when I would be charged a moving fee. She also made mention of what the next steps are. All of these are important to making a customer feel confident and were handled perfectly.

I really appreciate the service I received today, and I hope the rest of the move goes as smooth. Thanks Genevieve from Distributel.

February 26th Update
Distributel called me last night while I was out, and let me know they would be going to the new place I’m living to install my Internet two days before I move in. Thankfully, the owner of the place has been really accommodating, and gave me a key to go over and wait for the technician.

As usual, I was told that the install would happen between the hours of eight in the morning and five in the afternoon, an almost useless time range to give someone.

The technician came today at 8:45am and installed and tested the line. After five minutes, he was leaving and on to his next installation. I feel like I’m definitely paying a lot of money for what was a five minute installation, and probably another minute of provisioning. Oh well, at least it was trouble free.

Wedding Website

For those that haven’t seen it yet, Annie and I are slowly working away on our wedding website:

We’ve put up details about where the wedding is being held, reception location, hotels in the area, and more.

While we’ve been hoping to add more to it than we have, there are dozens of projects for our wedding that we feel the same way about and the website is primarily just an informational tool. So if you have questions about where things are being held, check out the site.

Let me know what you think of it.

Gearing Up for My Twentieth Move

So, at the end of this month, I’m moving again. This time, I’ll be moving from my bachelor apartment above a convenience store to renting a house from a friend of Annie’s family. It will mean that things are going to be even tighter when it comes to money, but it will be a healthier environment for me to get work done and live my life.

I am slowly packing up all of my stuff in preparation for the move. While Annie is really excited about moving into the new place, and starting our lives together as husband and wife in a real house, I’m both tired of moving, and nervous about what our finances are going to look like.

With work keeping me busy, a second draft of Second Class Supers still a long way away, and a wedding come up in two months, adding moving to the list has definitely been a stressful addition to the list of things that needs to be done.

I can’t wait until it is all over and I’m in the new place. It is currently being renovated, and looks like it will be an amazing place to live. With a better kitchen, a dishwasher, and more, I’m hoping it will help me work towards losing more weight. It’ll also help that the nearest convenience store is at least a five or ten minute walk away and near a Subway and other options that aren’t chips, chocolate bars and pop. Living above a convenience store is just not something my limited willpower can handle.

Packing has also given me an excuse to get rid of things that I don’t need as I go through some of my still packed boxes from my move last year to see if there are things I don’t need. I picked up a few pieces of furniture while living in this apartment that will make moving out a bit more difficult than it was to move in.

So that’s the big news in my life right now. I hope to have some pictures of the new place in a week or two.

Not Feeling the Blogging Vibe

I go through periods where I just don’t feel like blogging, and I’m in that state right now. Even this post was hard to create.

There are unfortunately some really great moments in my life that I didn’t record in a post, and I’m sad about that because my memory can be so horrible sometimes. Lately, I just haven’t felt like blogging. I’m not sure what is going on, or why I haven’t felt like it. There are things happening, things I’m sure to forget. I guess sometimes, I just don’t see the point.

Singing in Choir

Last night, I sang at Annie’s Catholic church. I don’t have a good singing voice and I don’t like singing in front of people. So why did it I do it?

Annie and her other choir attendees asked me to sit with them this week since they were low on numbers. I decided to do it, and throw myself into it because I wanted to help.

I didn’t really enjoy myself, but it wasn’t horrible either. It definitely made church go quickly. Will I do it again sometime? Probably. I won’t be joining the choir though as it feels strange to me, especially being someone that isn’t Catholic.

I had never thought of myself as someone that could or would sing at a church choir, so it was an interesting experience, and one I can now cross of that imaginary list of things that people should try.

Goals for 2014

Here is my post for 2013, and as you may or may not know, I didn’t complete all of my goals, but I did better than I thought when I wrote them. I continued to review them through the year, and it seemed to help make a difference in my life.

This year, I have a few tiny goals: lose weight, get married, pay down debts, pay whatever I owe the government, go on a honeymoon, edit Second Class Supers, and increase my income.

Of course, I’d also like to write another one hundred blog posts on this blog, and continue to find more avenues to write and be creative. I’d especially like to write in a way that increases my income this year. I am not sure if that is writing for other blogs, building my own and trying to monetize it or what, but I’d really like to bring in grocery money each month by the end of 2014 through my writing.

As for losing weight, I didn’t do a good job in 2013, and I know I have to do better in 2014. Instead of going down as I intended, I floundered about and during the Christmas season, I definitely went up. I really want to get to 260 pounds. I think, at that weight, I would be able to fit into size 40 pants, and an XL shirt. Ideally, I’d like to get to a 38 pants, so I could buy clothing from any store, but small goals can sometimes be the easiest to achieve and maintain.

In April, Annie and I will be married. Currently, I’m concerned about our finance for the wedding. We are far behind where we need to be. I would hate to have to downsize our guest list, but that is a possibility that Annie and I may have to discuss in the coming weeks.

My credit card is still sitting with a much higher amount on it than I’d like. I made some financial mistakes that have continued to haunt me. While they are going to get taken care of at some point, saving up for a wedding definitely slowed my progress on paying it down. I hope to make a bigger dent on my credit card this year and pay off at least one half of what I have owing on it.

In July, Annie and I are planning on having a honeymoon. It will be a trip to Florida where we will go to Universal Studios while staying in the condo that Annie’s mom owns. I am hoping to have my driver’s license again before this point so that I can help with going from Ontario to Florida and back in Annie’s car.

The first draft of Second Class Supers is done. We are slowly working on the editing process for the second draft. I am hoping Annie and I can find a way to kick it into high gear so we can complete the second draft before our wedding. I’d like to see this book in print, in my hands before the end of 2014.

This upcoming year is going to be a big one, with lots going on, and with money tight, I’m trying not to be too stressed out. Here’s hoping 2014 works out well for everyone! Thanks again to all my readers. I really appreciate your support.

Quick Christmas Rundown

So Annie and I made it through both my family and her family Christmas celebrations. Getting to Kingston was a total nightmare. Poor Annie white knuckled the drive the entire way from Georgetown to Kingston. The roads were icy, and people in Toronto are stupid about driving in such conditions. Many vehicles passed us as Annie continued to drive slow, safe and steady through the slush and increasingly heavy ice.

There were a few times in our trip where I had to get out of the car and clear off the windshield wipers so that Annie could see. They were both making loud noises, and becoming decreasingly effective at removing the build up in our view. At the last major gas station exit before Kingston, every vehicle around us exited off the highway. Annie and I traded looks, and Annie confided in me later that she wondered if they knew something we didn’t. As the rain pelted down and froze, we both constantly considered pulling off and staying somewhere for the night, but the reports were that it was only going to get worse over the next day or so, and we saw signs showing that we were getting ever closer.

The three and a half hour drive took us six hours to complete. Arriving in Kingston, I was exhausted, so I can only imagine how tired Annie was.

As a family, we all went to see the second Hobbit movie. Mark, Carly and my grandma were definitely missed, but it was probably the largest showing of my family at a movie that I’ve ever gone to. On Sunday we had a nice family gathering at my Aunt Nancy’s place, where we got to meet her new boyfriend, eat some food, play some card games, and take it easy. It was really nice, and I enjoyed it. After a few more days at my aunt’s, hanging out with Kyle and Serina, it was time to go. Using over half an hour of effort, it took the Kyle, Annie and I to get her car out of the driveway.

Coming back from Kingston wasn’t so bad, but to avoid some of the crazy traffic mess, we decided to go on highway 7, which is a bit slower and longer, but I think Annie and I had a good time taking that way back. We noticed as we approached Georgetown, that there were still many people with power out due to the ice storm. Thankfully, my apartment had its power back before we arrived home.

We then had the Christmas celebration with Annie’s family, and it was amazing as well. Lots of food, company, conversation. It was really nice. One special thing that Annie’s family does is a Secret Santa draw, since there are so many people in her family. I got one of Annie’s nieces, and gave her a huge make-up brush set as she had asked for in her wish list. Somehow, Annie’s brother got me for the second year in a row, and purchased something outside of the allowed budget: a lighting kit. Three stands, three lights, two umbrellas and a bag to carry it all.

Annie went back to my apartment, picked up my camera, and I did an impromptu photo booth at her sister’s place. It was a lot of fun. I took some shots of whomever wanted to sit in front of the camera and giggled like a child as I tried to figure out how to use my new equipment. I am super grateful for all the time and gifts I received, but this one really played into my passions and lifted my spirits. Buying a lighting kit was something that I expected to slowly piece together over the next two years or so, and to have it all at once, ready to use, it was really exhilarating.

I had an amazing Christmas. I am so grateful for the wonderful job I have, the family, my fiancee and my friends. I am looking forward to 2014, and I feel so blessed.

Bronchitis: The Plague

So, I’m still not fully healed, but I spent nearly three weeks fighting a rough bout of bronchitis. I had to take some time off work, and I was pretty much useless otherwise as well. I am glad that things got better without antibiotics, and that it didn’t become pneumonia. The endless coughing, the fits late at night, and the feeling of bruising in my chest were not fun. The phlegm, headache and exhaustion were also fairly brutal.

Unfortunately, Annie now has something quite similar. Thankfully, having gone through it myself, I know the things that helped, but she is less inclined to take medication than I. I am hoping because of her otherwise wonderful immune system that she’ll bounce back faster than I did, and while very uncomfortable, she doesn’t seem to be as phlegmy as I was.

Hopefully, this was our one big cold of the winter season, and we will spend the rest of the winter being nice and healthy.