Friday, January 8, 2010

Catching Up

Been a busy week.  When I got back from my Winnipeg trip there was a ton of stuff I’d been putting off, and it was time to stop procrastinating and get it all taken care of.  My car had failed it’s safety inspection and wasn’t worth fixing (needed over $1000 in work), so I’d been catching rides to work with Bill, and had to live without a car.  I couldn’t stand it.  It’s impossible to be free and independent without a car.  So I started looking around and ended up making a great deal with my friend Reid for his 2004 Pontiac Sunfire!  He moved to BC and needed someone in Alberta to take the car.  He was visiting until after Xmas, so when I got back from my trip we took care of the sale.

It involved much running around though.  First I needed to get my Alberta drivers license, which I did.  Then I needed to get it insured in Alberta.  Auto insurance is privatized here so it was a bit of a hassle, but after 3 days of calling around, visiting different banks and insurance places, faxing documents back and forth between Manitoba Public Insurance, myself and RBC (who I finally settled with) it was completed.  THEN I needed to register the car and get new plates, which I took care of at lunch.  So the car is now officially under my name!  I also had to give the bill of sale and old plates to Reid’s Dad.

The car is great, a significant upgrade from the old Honda.  It’s 2004, only has 120,000 km on it (my Honda was 200,000), and is just fancier.  Remote start/unlock, automatic windows, anti-lock brakes (for better or worse), digital odometer, and just less of an eye sore on the road!  I made a deal with Reid to pay half up front and the rest in payments over the next few months.

I also needed a new bank account, and since I was dealing with RBC for my car insurance, and my Mom has been with them and never had any problems, I opened a new account with them and set up direct deposit through work, and pre-authorized withdrawal for the insurance.

My contract at BioWare ends at the end of the month, so I had to save as much as possible.  I still have quite a bit of money from my last check and my Xmas money, then I get paid tomorrow, and also got my GST check.  I also brought all my games in to work to sell and made over 200$ in 2 days from that, I put my camera and equipment up for sale, selling the Honda, etc.  Not to mention 2 checks left from BioWare that will have some major overtime on them.  So things are looking up, I’ll have enough money for the car, insurance and rent, long enough to either get a temporary job for 2-3 months or have EI kick in.

Speaking of my contract ending, I was getting kind of bummed about that.  Last month at BioWare…  And who knows how long till I’m back.  It was daunting.  But then I got some good news.  I came in to work on Tuesday, after working a 15 hour shift the day before (got home at almost 1:00 AM) and I had a meeting request from Zac, my old boss from before I got onto the PRC team.  I met with him and he asked me when my last day was.  I told him January 29th and he said “Ok, cause we want you back the day you become available!”  That really put my mind at ease.  Now I know for sure it’ll only be 90 days off.  I can handle that.  And it was really validating to know the company wanted me back.  It looks like I’ll be working on the Star Wars Old Republic MMO.  That will be interesting, to see how an MMO is made and QA’d.  I will miss the Dragon Age franchise though.  It will always have a special place in my heart.

So things are actually pretty good.  I finally have my Alberta drivers license (which makes me an official resident), have a car again, and a significantly better one at that, have Alberta plates, have a guarantee to be back at BioWare after my 90 days are up, I’ve been working out, etc...  I just feel in control of my life.  It’s a good feeling when you stop letting things get out of hand and just reel it all in.

I’ll post pix of the car soon!

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