I caught a cold near the end of last week and I started feeling its effects late Thursday evening. Things were still manageable on Friday and I was able to get to work but it all went downhill pretty quickly after I got home that day. My weekend was somewhat miserable, dealing with nasal congestion and a slight cough. It did not help that it’s currently freezing in the great Vancouver area. It seemed like a bad idea to try to fight a cold while in a freezing apartment, so I reluctantly turned on the heat.
I’m still feeling fairly awful, so coupled with the considerable snowfall that doused the city tonight, it’s looking like I’ll be taking a sick day tomorrow.
There’s a snow fall warning out for the greater Vancouver area tonight. The forecast calls for 2 to 5 cm of snow in my area, with a potential for 25 cm in areas of higher elevation. It’s currently about 3 degrees and dry though in my neighbourhood. No precipitation of any kind is coming down, though off in the distance, it looks like there might may be some rain in the next municipality.
I expect that when I wake up, there will be no snow or barely any and that I will have to go to work. Bummer.
I had really bad gas this evening and by bad, I don’t mean necessarily by volume (though there was a bit of that). I expelled some very malodorous gas tonight, much worse than usual. I can only guess what it came from but my dinner was quite simple. I had pan-fried tilapia, stir-fried gai lan, and steamed rice. It couldn’t have been the rice. There were no sauces involved. The tilapia and gai lan were cooked in avocado oil. They say that some veggies can give you bad gas but I’ve had gai lan so many times in my life and it usually never elicits such a reaction. I’ve also had tilapia before, without any harm. Maybe it was a bad piece of fish? I’ve also never had anything prepared with avocado oil before but I eat avocados all the time.
As I prepare for sleep, this remains a mystery to me. My foul wind continues to blow into the night.
Today sucked big time. I had lots of trouble getting to sleep last night. I don’t think I fell asleep until 4am or so. I might have been dehydrated, I might have been thinking about work too much, or I might have just gotten used to staying up late for about two weeks. Whatever it was, I did not get much rest.
I actually felt somewhat fine in the morning, probably due to all the rest I got during the holidays. It was only in the afternoon that my energy started to wane considerably. At one point around 3pm, I believe I even fell asleep for a split-second while at my desk.
Last year, my tax income return yielded a nasty surprise, I owed the government more money that I’d ever owed before. Every single year since I’ve filed, I normally get a refund, except for that one year where I owed $60. In 2019, however, I wound up owing several thousands of dollars. It was a tough pill to swallow since I could have avoided this by just sheltering more of my money into additional RRSP contributions.
After paying the hefty bill, I consulted with a financial advisor as to how I could avoid the same fate from happening in 2020. Her advice was pretty simple, contribute enough into an RRSP so that I wouldn’t get dinged again. My mistake was doing my taxes after the last day in February of 2019. The contribution window for that tax year was over by then and I could prevent anything from happening. The advisor suggested I start doing my taxes as soon as possible, even if I wasn’t planning on filing immediately, just to get a picture of my tax situation.
So, just a few days into 2020, I did my taxes, albeit very roughly. I downloaded a free tax program and gathered all my tax info: last pay stub for 2019, total RRSP contributions for 2019, charitable donations for the year, and interest received for all my savings accounts. Most of the info was accurate and would be the exact numbers for when I file for real. The toughest part was not having my T4 form. I had ballpark that entire form, with its many boxes, some of which I had no idea what their purpose was or how to calculate it. For example, there’s a box for “pensions adjustment”. Even after Googling the term, I had no idea how to calculate it. I just had to guess based on previous years (of which that amount changed for whatever reason).
Using the above best-guess scenario, I let the program crunch the numbers and according to it, I came up with a paltry refund of about $100. Seeing as how that amount is so small and since my numbers aren’t entirely correct, it stands to reason that I might even owe a bit of money but I’m guessing it’s not the thousands like last year. To play it safe, I decided to contribute several thousands more into my RRSP. That should be processed on Monday.
Once my T4 form has been released to me, I’ll redo the calculations again. I believe T4s will be available before the end of February, so I’ll have a final chance to correct things.
I decided today to clean my venetian blinds, which I admittedly, have not cleaned since I moved in, which was many years ago. This things are a pain in the ass to clean and some of them have accumulated a gross amount of dirt. To help with this, I bought a cleaning tool, which cleans two blinds at a time. It only cost me $2 at the dollar store, so anyone buying this on Amazon is getting ripped off.
Anyways, I had a bucket of warm water and got to cleaning. It literally took all damn day and night to clean just five set of blinds. It’s so tedious and time-consuming to do this because I kept having to clean the cloth part of the cleaning tool. The blinds were so dirty, the cloth would be black after just cleaning four individual blinds. I’d have to stop frequently and wash the cloth in the sink with soap, otherwise I’d be just applying dirt back onto the blinds. Then in the early evening, one of the arms of the cleaning tool snapped. Luckily, it was early enough for me to go back to the dollar store downstairs and get a replacement.
It took so long to get everything clean that I am not looking forward to cleaning these blinds for a while. The tool I used, while it gets the job done, takes too long to clean, even at two blinds at once. I’m now wondering if I should just a get a massive microfiber mop, like a giant Swiffer and just run it along both sides of my blinds in big strokes. That probably would have been 100x faster. Next time.
I hope everyone had a wonderful, restful, and joyous holidays. I’ve been off from work almost two weeks now and it’s been great. I’ve mainly tried to get as much sleep as possible, clean up around my apartment, see friends and family, play video games, and just generally relax. I know many of you will return to work tomorrow but I won’t go back until Monday. For the first time in my working life, I’ve decided to take a few extra days off at the tail end of the holidays, after the new year begins. I also have Thursday and Friday off now, which I am very thankful for.
It’s difficult to believe we’re in a new decade now. My brain continues to believe that 2010 was, at most, two years ago. We just had the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, isn’t that right? Alas, almost a decade has passed since then. I have definitely gotten older since then but I’m not sure if I got any wiser. I’m not sure what this new decade will bring for myself and in the world in general. Part of me is pessimistic for what lies ahead for the world. All I know for sure is that time will continue to fly along.