CELL PHONE PROVIDER

I received a text message from my cell phone provider indicating that my monthly plan is going up $5 starting in March. In total, that would mean I’d pay $45 a month going forward. I know many people pay much more than that a month for cell phone service but I think that’s almost criminal. For my $45, I get 6 GB of 3G data (not LTE), unlimited North American calling and texting. It’s fairly standard.

I don’t need 6 GB of mobile data though. With the work from home situation, I’m never on public transit anymore, which was where I used most of my mobile data. I checked and last month, I used 250 MB of mobile data, out of the 6 GB that I paid for. Even when I was commuting, on a high-usage month, I’d use between 1 and 2 GB of mobile data.

With the looming price increase, this was a good time to check out plans from other providers. While I haven’t chosen anything yet, it looks like I could change providers and for $36 a month, I could get 4 GB of LTE data, and the rest of the plan is almost identical to my old plan. The only difference I can see is that I don’t have unlimited calls to the U.S., which I can’t remember the last time I called an American number.

The highlight of this new plan would be the faster LTE network and the cheaper price. I guess I have to thank my current provider for raising prices because it pushed me to get a better deal. I wonder if their analysts did the math and calculated that more people would stay and accept the increased prices than leave (and thus get no more revenue from them). Companies don’t make these decisions lightly.

GREENS

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions but as we begin this new year, I’m trying to improve my diet. This is a common goal for a new year but it’s also a worthy one. I admit my vegetable intake for the last year or so decreased compared to the previous year. I admit that most of my veggies came from eating at work, where I’d grab a large salad for lunch. As we are now working from home, I have been left to my own devices for meals.

At the beginning of the pandemic, my veggie consumption came from mostly stir-fried greens that I made for lunch or dinner. It was quick and simple but I began getting tiresome of having to grab my wok every time I did this. I transitioned to just boiling my greens, like baby bok choy, and putting them in my instant noodles. This is a lot easier for clean up.

I’ve started to now also buy pre-packaged salads from Safeway. I’m not sure why I didn’t do this months ago. These salads are pretty good. I’m currently enjoying the ones with spinach, blueberries, strawberries, dried cranberries, walnuts, and a sprinkle of goat cheese.

I realize there is a long list of things I could be doing better in my life but for now, I’ll settle for eating more vegetables.

HOCKEY

The NHL begins regular season play on Wednesday. The last time an NHL regular season opened in January was eight years ago, when labour unrest delayed the season by several months. Of course, this time, a global pandemic is the cause.

In a perfect world, maybe we wouldn’t play pro sports until all of this is over. That would probably be the safest thing to do. I suppose there are other factors in play, for better or worse. If there is a benefit to pro hockey being played, it’s that it gives the public something to watch and take their mind off things for a few hours a night. I know I’ll be watching a lot of games.

It will be an interesting season and I hope all the player stay safe and healthy.

WHAT A YEAR

The calendar says it’s the eleventh of January tomorrow but it feels like we’re way deeper into 2021 already. Due to a massive lack of sleep last week, it was a struggle for me to get to Friday. On Friday morning, I was shocked to realize we had only completed the first week of work for the year. That was just one week! I was sure that my level of fatigue and weariness was a sign I had endured many weeks of work already.

I hope this week is better. I’m going to bed now.

THE WEEKEND

I am beyond relieved that it is Friday. I didn’t sleep very well all week and as such, I kinda was just surviving each day, just trying to do what I needed to do on a daily basis. If I was at all refreshed from the holidays, I might have expended it all this week.

I feel like sleeping in until 3pm on Saturday.

CRAZY

What a chaotic day for Americans. As an outsider looking in, I don’t have any relevant or expert commentary. The Internet doesn’t need another moron chiming in. I will say though, if I am any kind of military leader in an adversarial country of America, I will have been thrilled to see what happened today. If a bunch of barely organized, rag tag yokels can penetrate Capitol security to the point where it might have gotten tragic, I can only imagine what trained special forces or even regular infantry could do. Today signalled to the world that American democracy is physically fragile and vulnerable, and is just waiting for bad actors to easily crush it. Americans are fond of saying their country is the best on Earth, but it’s hard to imagine the country with the #1 ribbon pinned to their chest would let what happened today unfold.

SLEEPY

I managed to make it to bed time last night without napping, though I was very tempted around 8pm. I pushed through but maddeningly, I was feeling a bit refreshed around midnight. How does that happen when I essentially didn’t sleep last night?

When it was time for bed, I took half a sleeping pill, just to push things in the right direction. I haven’t taken sleeping pills in almost two years I think. I used to take them quite regularly but I stopped because I didn’t need them anymore. I was awake for a few minutes longer that I expected but I fell into a deep slumber. I slept right until my alarm, which is a rare occurrence these days. I was definitely groggy when I awoke, a bit worse than yesterday, even though I had slept about eight hours.

I was fine this morning but as the afternoon rolled around, I hit a bit of a wall and felt very sleep, which I did not feel at all during work yesterday. I prepared a cup of coffee which seemed to bring me out of the fatigue. It seems like your body never forgets that you incurred sleep debt and it will come to collect sooner or later.

It might be the rain, cold, my lack of sleep, and the pandemic, but I feel like I just want to hibernate until the spring. Sunday was the only day in recent memory where the rain hasn’t been coming down in buckets.

As I expected, 2021 isn’t much different than 2020 and I understand that. Whatever we all did in 2020 to get us to this new year, we need to continue doing that. I just need to get more sleep while doing those things!

FIRST DAY BACK

Today was the first day back for many workers and students. For me, it did not start off that well. On Sunday evening, I felt exhausted, to the point that I wanted to crawl into bed but it was only 7pm. I felt that was too early to sleep, so I pushed on and stayed awake. By midnight, I felt much better, not exactly energized but much more awake.

I then headed to bed and waited for sleep. I think I may have fallen asleep for about five minutes when I woke up. I was then awake for pretty much the whole next six hours. I slept fine the entire holiday but I just couldn’t sleep for some reason. I’m not sure why. I didn’t have a ton of work to return to, just the normal “I don’t want to go back to work” feeling that I’m sure everyone had last night.

Between reading on my tablet, drinking water, going to go pee, and closing my eyes, I wasted enough time until 7am when I guess pure exhaustion allowed me to fall asleep. I awoke about two and a half hours later when my alarm went off. I felt pretty bad but I definitely felt worse.

Lucky for me, I had a light morning. I was able to get some breakfast and some coffee in me before my two morning meetings. Again luck was on my side when none of those meetings require my input. Those were my only two meetings of the day. No one bothered me at all today or asked me for things, so I was extremely thankful for that. I was running on minimum brain function all day and expected that I might have to crawl into bed for a nap in the afternoon. To my surprise, I held it together all day, right to the end of the day.

I don’t think I’ll have any problems sleeping tonight.

HOLIDAYS ARE OVER

As I didn’t take any extra time off in January, I go back to work tomorrow. It was a much needed two weeks off. I didn’t do a whole lot other than sleep in, play video games, and eat chocolate. This was my first Christmas while living in a global pandemic. I guess that was true for a lot of people. I didn’t see any of my friends and there were some family members that I didn’t see. It’s unfortunate but I understand why.

I will probably wake up feeling very groggy tomorrow morning and I won’t have a clue what I wasn’t working on before the holidays started.