Archive for April 24th, 2007

takin’ the train

Posted on April 24, 2007. Filed under: Travelling |

Whenever I’m in England I always get a rail pass and take the train. I love it so much. Everything about it. Catching the train seems so romantic. Being on the train, staring out the window: romantic. And always exciting and relaxing. But here, in the GTA and beyond,trains have always been nothing but a hassle.

The first time I took the train was in my first year travelling from Kingston to Georgetown. Now, you can’t do this easily or cheaply. As a student with an ISIC card you could do pretty well, but the VIA train was always late without fail and then I would have to navigate my way, running, through Union Station (I didn’t know it well back then). I would usually not have time to purchase a ticket and would hop on the GO train as it was pulling out of the station. Nothing romantic, exciting, or relaxing about that. Getting back to Kingston wasn’t as hectic, except for trying to get a cab from the train station, which was way out in the middle of nowhere compared to campus, and the fact that all of the cars were packed with students from Queen’s and McGill. Fun sometimes, but not at the end of a long weekend when you just want to catch up on studying or sleeping. I probably only came home 3 times all year as a result.

Then there was commuting every day from Georgetown to Toronto on the GO. On top of hating my job and he evil company I worked for at the time, I hated the commute and hated the fact that the train moved so painfully slowly. Or was late. Or was stuck…often for hours.

So I’m giving the train another chance and I’m really excited about it. Maybe it will be just like England. Brian’s going to be in Ottawa this summer for a couple of weeks and I’m going to join him for 2 days. I didn’t want to drive all the way up there, spending 5 hours or more in the car, and then have both of us drive all the way back so I thought I’d look into the train. They must be competing with airfares or something right now, because the ticket was only $59! For a four hour train ride! This is way cheaper than it used to be from Kingston to Toronto (a much shorter route). But, it will be uncharted territory and the train station in Ottawa is only 4 km from downtown Ottawa.  I can’t wait! The only catch is that I have to figure out how to get to Union Station for 5:00 pm without a car on the day I leave…this would be great if I worked along the subway line. Any suggestions? Anyone want to pick me up and take me to work and then downtown? I could try to figure out Mississauga Transit in the morning and then try to score a ride downtown… I guess I have time to figure it out.

I haven’t been to Ottawa for about 2 years, so I’m really looking forward to getting to the city again and to see my friends who make Ottawa their home.

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expenses…yikes!

Posted on April 24, 2007. Filed under: Condo Things |

Oh dear. I just did a pretty spreadsheet with my expenses for the month, given the new bills and payments I now have and, um, I’m actually negative technically in what I’ve spent compared to what I make for April. Thank God fro cash flow and for a bit of extra padding. As I’m already a ridiculously wise and non-frivilous spender, I can’t really find much to cut out of the spending. I guess I could always squeeze in a summer job. Is that allowed? No, really, I’m sure it will all be fine — I’m just a bit surprised. I can blame a bit of it on set up costs, but am going to have to be a bit more tight with my wallet…after the trip next month of course. And I haven’t even had a real mortgage payment come out of my account yet! Ha! Oh, and the bonus part — I just got an invoice from the condo company and the person who was here before left me with more debt than the company had disclosed. On my closing documents she owed $3.92 which was to be paid out. I assume that after the check was run on the condo, she cancelled her March cheque which resulted in an NSF fee and the full monthly cost. I moved in half way through the month, so I don’t know how that works, but I’m not paying the whole amount. And the condo fee that the corporation told me is actually $98.56 a month. I just wrote them cheques for $98.00 — so they’ll be short every month! Geez. I should write a year’s worth of cheques for .56 cents each and send them in. Ha! Well, I’m not stressed or worried about any of this. It will all work out and I’ll always be able to live within my means — I’ll just have to adjust things like, oh, my health. If I didn’t have all those extra expenses I would be able to do a lot more. But, I would feel like death. And, money is nothing if you feel like you’re dying..plus, if I don’t put out now, I’m sure it will cost me more in time and money and health in the end. Wow. That’s a ramble. All because of excel, some expenses and a negative number. I’m in the red…ish. Donations anyone? 🙂

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eragon and eldest

Posted on April 24, 2007. Filed under: Books |

I finished listening to Eragon a week or so ago and I was completely sucked in. So much so that I started listening to Eldest straight away. I think that I would have devoured this book if I had read it when I was around 14 or 15. And still, at 26, the story was very well told. Formulaic, very long, an epic even, but immensely enjoyable.

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