March 31, 2022

For my birthday last week I bought myself a day pass for the bus. I didn’t mean to. I was meeting a friend for birthday breakfast and intended to walk downtown, but it was raining, or almost raining, or threatening to rain, so I was discouraged. I could have driven, but there is nothing as disheartening as driving when I’m ready for a walk. The bus seemed a reasonable compromise which would lessen my time in the rain, but also provide a bit of a walk. I might even be able to walk home after breakfast if the rain stopped. The real clincher was that if I got a day pass I’d have a little piece of paper with my birthday printed on it. Fancy. I might frame it.

I was glad to have the day pass because on my way home it was raining harder so I really didn’t want to walk. Also, when I went to catch the number 3 bus that would take me from Yates St right into James bay it flew right past me before I could even cross the street to get to the bus stop. I tried to make it into a positive: maybe I’d like to stop somewhere and buy a birthday present for myself! But I couldn’t think of anything I wanted for my birthday. I already have a stash of treats and I have a lot of clothes. I didn’t feel like trying on shoes. And I was a little damp at this point. The busses (plural, since I missed the direct one) I took to get home were nice and dry and warm and not too busy during mid-morning. I ended up stopping at the BC Liquor Store not far from my house and browsing around a bit for some birthday liquor. A new gin or some fruity cans? No. Bourbon.

I’ve forgotten how much I enjoy taking the bus. Albeit, when it’s not choc-a-bloc full of gross people. I meant to use them more over the winter, but I didn’t due to factors including forgetting and bonus COVID strains going on. Also since I gave up my buss pass at the start of the pandemic, it’s not quite the same. I used to jump on willy-nilly, even if just for a stop or two, just because I could. Now I have little tickets, which are finite, and when using one-at-a-time, they are limited to just one trip. A day pass is fine, but then I have to make sure I’m going to use it at least twice in the day to make up for the two tickets it costs.

I meant to use the tickets for getting me to work but I never have. I’m too happy walking in. Not to mentioned smug and pleased with myself. Etc. Not to mention the bus I thought I’d catch leaves almost half and hour after I’m usually ready to go (now that I’ve been walking in and having to leave early to accommodate that.)

Below I will copy and paste some memories of bus passes of yesteryear that I wrote up some time ago with the intention of incorporating seamlessly into a blog post. Instead, here’s this:

Have I written about my bus pass?

In Victoria there’s a group bus pass program called ProPass where if there are enough people in an organization, they can get a discounted bus pass. When I started work for government, only permanent employees were eligible to get one so I have 2.5 years of an agonizing wait before I could get one. Getting this pass would mean I had made it, I thought.

I’ve always liked taking the bus. Before I had a car it was a nice alternative to walking. And even since getting a car I’d choose taking the bus over driving, since I’m not a big fan of getting behind the wheel. I like the freedom of not being in charge of the route, and traffic. With where I live it doesn’t even take that much longer to walk anywhere downtown than in would be to take any method of vehicle transport. Walking is even quicker, sometimes, depending on bus schedules.

I remember visiting Victoria as a teenager and noting the busses on the roads. My dream was to move to Victoria and take the busses all over town. I’m a person with big ambition.

I actually did move to Victoria for university, and during my second year is when they started giving all students a cheap but manditory bus pass as part of the fees. Even though I lived on campus I was thrilled. I definatly got my money’s worth with just toodling off campus now an then, even if I wasn’t commuting. I’d go on bus adventures, just getting on a bus to see where it ended up.

When I was at Camosun then had the same program, where my student card was my bus pass, only then I had tu use it to commute to school, and also to work, and to dance class. I was busy then and it was nice to not have to worry about how I was going to get everywhere.

It was the same when I lived in Vancovuer and was an UBC student for a year. I explored all of Vancouver with my student bus pass, even taking a loop around the sky train one day, just for fun. (Acutally that was even less exciting than it sounds.)

A few years later, back in Victoria, and having finally got a permanent position, the first thing I did was fill out the paperwork to get my ProPass. Mission accomplished. I kept it even after I got my car, but I did start to think about getting rid of it. It was nice to have because the $60ish is cost was cheaper than parking downtown everyday, which was silly to do since I live so close, and it was just a 10 or so minute ride on the bus (30mins from my aptartment to my office with walking and wait time). But… it was only a 10 minute ride on the bus, and I could walk nearly the whole way to work in that same 30 minutes. So I did run the numbers a few times to see if I should get rid of it.

I really only felt encouraged to get rid of it during the pandemic. I wasn’t charged for it for the first couple of months, but once they started charging again I took the sign that I hadn’t been on a bus in that whole time to get rid of it. Also, they made it easy to give it up: they only needed a photo of my cut-up card instead of handing it in in person. Easy.

But also not easy? I didn’t want to give it up. I had worked hard to get it and it felt like I was giving up that dream that previous Lindsie had wanted so badly. I quickly decided that present Lindsie would be annoyed to pay for something that she wasn’t using and cut it up. As a compromise (I guess?), I still have the pieces for if I start to feel nostalgic (PS. This hasn’t happened).

COVID Journal Entry # 54

I’m preceeding this entry with a deep, annoyed exhale of breath.

There’s some things I’m going to forget: COVID 19 Vaccination Record.

  • Vaccination #1: May 18, 2021 – Pfizer.
    • I set it up so I went as early as possible in the morning to avoid crowds. At this point I wanted to avoid a crowd at the vaccination site but also during my walk there. The site was still at the Victoria Convention centre so a quick walk. May 18 was a Tuesday so I had to take some time off work, which was permitted. (We were advised after I made my appointment to try and schedule ourselves for weekends or evenings or flex days, but I just took the first one I could get in the morning.) I had been watching the BC COVID Vaccination web page for a few weeks, waiting for my age group to come up. When I got my notification I was anxious to get in and I made my appointment quickly for as soon as I could get in.
    • I walked over from home, since I was working from home. I had heard that there wasn’t much of a crowd at the actual vaccination site since everyone just showed up for their time, and this turned out to be correct. Doing check in and everything at the site was a lot like checking in at an airport with ID, and line-ups, and anticipation. There were people set up all over to point me in the right direction. Getting the vaccination itself was fine. I was keen to get my vaccination card. There wasn’t a choice but I was pleased to get Pfizer.
    • I felt a bit off as soon as I got home, but I think I made it through the rest of the work day – I did skip dance class that evening, however. The next day I took off work. Over the next two weeks I kept thinking I felt fine, but then would have to skip another dance class, or take another seemingly random day off work. I basically was just feeling crappay, and was too tired to do anything. Everything was fine and I felt back to normal again at exactly the two week mark.
  • Vaccination # 2: July 22, 2021 – also Pfizer
    • Vaccination dose 2 went much the same as the first, except I scheduled it for after work on a Thursday. I work at the office on Thursdays, and I pass by the Convention Centre on the way home.
    • Same thing with feeling randomly crappay for two weeks exactly and then felt fine again. I think I took the Friday off work right after I got the shot, and then had to call in again on Monday because I still felt bad. I remember being frustrated about as I talked to my manager and she just said (basically) dude, just take the day.
  • Vaccination #3: January 29, 2022 – Moderna
    • Unlike the other two, when I was in a rush to get in and get my dose, it took me a few days to make my appointment after getting my invitation, and then I didn’t take the very first available appointment. By now there were all sorts of locations to go, and varying dates available on each day. First I was waiting for a convenient location to show up (I.e. Downtown Victoria and not Esquimalt or Langford) and then I wanted to schedule it around potentially feeling crappay for two weeks afterwards. Also, I’m generally bored of the whole process? I chose to go to a pharmacy downtown on Saturday after ballet class. I prayed that I would feel ok on my walk home (this was during some of the trucker convoy protests at the Legislature, and I would walk to avoid traffic, and then take the long way around into James Bay to avoid people). I did extensive preparation by telling anyone who would listen that I was getting my vaccination and that I might be absent from [work, dance, life] for the next two weeks. I said that if I only had a really sore arm afterwards, that it would be a dream come true.
    • I ended up only having a really sore arm for a few days. I had to take one afternoon off work because I felt a little off, but that was it.
    • Note: the pharmacy I went to is actually really near work, and I discovered it has lots of vegan treats.

COVID-19 Journal Entry #53

I had to keep my windows closed for a few weeks this spring.

The reason was because when I had them open, I sneezed all day; my eyes watered; and my nose was snuffy. Allergies. But if I kept my windows closed, I was fine! There were some warm days at home as a result of this, but I don’t mind the warm.

A consequence of this, the allergy-isolation, along with the not going anywhere due to the COVID thing still happening, I actually had a new experience when I was able to open the windows again.

Does anyone else notice when they visit a new city that it smells different? And that you can only smell it for a few minutes, or a while at least, before you get used to it, or just stop paying attention to the newness of it.

  • The smell of Vancouver. Or, rather, Tsawwassen when I just get off the ferry.
  • Beijing, late at night (can’t describe. Too new to me).
  • Cancun (steam)
  • Jerez (garbage)
  • Walking around Vegas at night when it’s cooled down, but it’s still hot.

I opened my window one evening and could smell Victoria.

Now, usually when I say I can smell Victoria it’s the very middle of summer, or after an overdue rain shower, and downtown smells like pee and Seagull poo, and pot. Gross things that are exacerbated by the weather. But that’s not what I’m talking about here.

I could smell the air, and an tinge of the sea, and freshness. Like what someone who has just walked off the seaplane at the harbour can smell, if they take the time to notice. Like I’d just come back from a really long trip.

COVID-19 Journal Entry #52


I got the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination on Tuesday (May 18, 2021). I wasn’t impatient to get it, but also I was “hurry up” because let’s get things moving. I was impressed with the set up of the vaccination venue. I went to the Victoria Convention Centre: there are two reasons I chose this site (I had a choice of two) 1) It’s real close to my home; and 2) I think it’s fancy. While it is indeed close to my home, it is not actually that fancy. But I was impressed with the set up of the place. It’s basically the same as going to the airport: follow the signs, smile at the workers, check in, follow more signs, wait in a line up. Get directed to your vaccination spot (following the airport analogy, this was similar to going through security). Then wait. Then leave. Just the same.

My reaction to the vaccine was prominent and annoying. I started feeling off just after I got home. Nothing major, just off. My appointment was at 10:30 am and I just went home and got back on my computer and finished my work day fine. The next day I was still off, but more so? Nothing that needed medical attention (I’m pretty sure. I don’t remember where I put the sheet they gave me with the symptoms to watch for.) Just really uncomfortable and tired. I took the day off work.

I was in the office the the next day (Thurs) with some worry about how the day would go (would I have to go home part way through?) but I was fine. I gave into my craving for a roast beef sandwich for lunch and got a big subway, which made me feel better. Also, there were reports that some co-workers who also had the shot on Tuesday had to take time off on Wednesday with similar symptoms, so that also made me feel better – I mean, not because they felt bad, but at least I’m not the only one. Go team.

I’m having a very quiet holiday weekend, which I just remembered is a holiday. Happy Birthday, Dead Queen Victoria.

I’ve started reading all of Jane Austen’s works in the order they were written, starting with her early works. There are some from when she was a teenager before she wrote her big, famous books. One of her very early novels, The Beautiful Cassandra, is 12 chapters of one sentence each. I highly recommend.

COVID-19 Journal: Entry #51

I have two things to remember today

COVID Thing I (Don’t) Want to Remember


One thing about COVID I don’t want to remember, but will document anyway is the feeling I get whenever there’s an announcement about new restrictions, like there was yesterday. I’d forgotten about this one. I was trying to classify the feeling: it’s sortof a mix of anxiety, sadness and panic. It’s been a while since I’ve felt that way but I think it’s been a while since we’ve had such a big change to things, or at least a change to things that affects me. Or at least, I haven’t been paying attention to the announcements as much anymore as I did during the first few months last year.

I spent some weepy time: first while watching Bonnie Henry announce them, and then after I shut her off I did laps of my apartment with my arms folded letting it digest. It’s not that I’m mad, or really upset. It’s just. Figuring things out for myself. And yesterday part of it was thinking that I was over reacting like this, since it’s been going on so long and I’ve been through it again. Maybe a little disappointment that more restrictions have to be enacted at this point. Maybe a little relieved? Annoyed for sure. But also resigned to follow along.

Circuit Breaker: temporary restrictions that prevent people from doing things to help help break the chain of COVID-19 transmission. It was two weeks before, now it’s three weeks. Two weeks is how long it takes to notice if someone has COVID? So making people stop seeing each other makes it so no one can pass it on. (I don’t feel like writing this better. If someone else wants to I’ll edit.) Numbers, hopefully, will go down.

COVID Thing I want to remember


There is still a woman banging a drum every night at 7 to celebrate essential medical workers in my neighbourhood. I finally saw her last night after near to a year she’s been doing it. She’s in the building diagonal from me. I’ve never seen her before and I don’t know why! It hasn’t been a year, but from last summer for sure. Sometimes she’s been joined by someone with a cow bell. Lately there’s been a rattle. On good nights they’re joined by a local dog barking along.

It’s glorious. And coincides with when I call Mum on Sundays and Wednesdays (or Thursdays if she has tap class).

I just know that at some point it’s just going to stop and I’m not even going to notice because I’ll start being out in the evening: going to plays, to dance class, out to dinner. I’m going to be at home one night, quiet and between things, and something will be missing, and I’m not going to know what it is.

COVID-19 Journal – Entry 50

Entry 50!

Pandemic Thing I want to Remember

4. I have a shoebox on my dresser where I keep my masks. I put it there early on, almost a year ago now, as soon as I I had a number of masks in my mask collection. “What am I going to do with these?” I asked myself. “Oh here’s a shoebox.”

Sometimes my masks are tidy and folded. Sometimes they are all just sort of there, but at least they have a spot. For a while they were all packaged in individual zip-lock bags. Now there are sortof bags stuffed in there for if if need one.

Clean masks only in the box. I have one I don’t clean every time hanging on a hook on the bathroom door. This is the yellow on that Kimberly made for me (or… made and then decided I should have and sent it to me!). It has a sturdy wire over the nose and is the only mask I have that doesn’t make my glasses foggy. I keep it separate to use around the apartment building for if I have to take out the garbage, or to fetch the mail or do my laundry, or go get something from the car. You know. Things around the apartment building. I should note there is a distinction between doing things around the apartment building and doing things everywhere else. When I go out anywhere- which is to say to the office or for groceries, I will stick in my contact lenses. This is because foggy glasses make me angry. Like, ragey angry, (and they have ever since I was a little girl). Contacts just eliminate the problem.

I’ve been hand washing my masks right when I get home. I wash my hands and then wash my mask right then.

I have a little laundry bag that I use for if I put them in the wash.

Writing this I notice that I’m bored of masks. But I will appreciate these details later.

I didn’t write about all the places I have to wear a mask (everywhere) (everywhere indoors, that is) (everywhere indoors that’s a public place grawwwwwwwwk). Today it was in dance class (noticeable and weird for the first few classes, but now, not so much- I found one that fits well so I don’t fidget with it the whole time.)

COVID-19 Journal – Entry 49

During my couple of weeks vacation last October I was sorting through my paper archive and making them into a digital archive. That was discussed here, in Entry 39! I’m on holiday again now, so it has occurred to me to follow up with that project and perhaps finish it. Maybe? I don’t know. The external hard drive I got to store said archive on BROKE, so that was concerning, and not conducive to encouraging me to digitize more. (I was able to save my digital archive before it crapped out so at least there’s that, I suppose.)

As I was going through all of my old papers and notes and things, I realized that I never really took the time to sit back and reflect on everything I learned at university. For example, I spent a great deal of my university years (ages 19 through 24 approx) reflecting on my teen years and childhood, both as a part of leaving them behind as I became an adult, but also mining them for story ideas as I completed my degree in creative writing. I needed lots of ideas on a regular schedule, and those years were at hand for inspiration and as the obvious “write what you know” paradigm.

But what I’ve come to realize is that after university, I was off to the races. I looked more to where I was at the time, and to the future, and what I should do with my life. I looked less to the past. I mean, I totally carried what I learned in university with me: that is definitely my base of knowledge and the perspective through which I view the world. Maybe if I had gone into a more creative career I would have needed to mine it more, but as it turned out, I used only what I needed to keep myself happy creatively, with no pressure to produce.

It could be, too, that at I had a lot of one thing after another through my 20s. I jumped from one educational program to the next, trying to figure out what I should do and what I should be, until I realized/decided that I should be someone who makes money and jumped at a chance to do that.

Nothing is wasted, I’m not saying that, and I’m not regretting anything. It’s interesting looking back, and recalling this chunk of time I’ve never reflected upon before. I’m inspired by what I’ve been through and who I was then, and who I’ve become because of those experiences and that person.


One of my favourite parts of looking through old schoolwork is that it documents clearly the development of my writing technique, craft, and voice. Looking at writing in first year and second year is fine. Not great, but fine. can see what I’m attempting. I’m playing around with the format of fiction. There’s some things that are really starting to work.

Then in third year, everything just sucks. I don’t know if maybe I was out partying more, or just hanging out with friends in residence and not working so much on my school work. Or it could be that I was thinking too much: at that point where I’ve figured some stuff out, am getting a grasp on the rules, and just loose some of that natural voice I had before. All my stories from this year seem forced and un-genuine. Looking at them now, because I took care to save even the crap, I wonder what I was thinking, why I even bothered. Holy cow. So bad. I’m surprised I didn’t quit – but the. I probably didn’t notice how atrocious things were.

Fourth year was a bit of a different time for me. I had to learn how to focus. I had a lot going on so I had to get organized exactly what I was focused on and when. I had a job working in wardrobe at the Phoenix theatre on campus, and that took some hours, and in the spring I did a technical internship at the Belfry, which took even more. In between those I was finishing my degree.

While I asked my self why I bothered in third year, looking at writing from fourth year makes my say ahh. This is why. Especially in the second term, I found my voice. And I remember noticing at the time that something was different. I had more confidence, and I knew what I wanted to say, and what I wanted to accomplish with my craft. I spoke up I my workshop classes, because I had things to say about others works, too, where before I was shy. I was published in the student anthology, and read my pice out loud at its launch. (Ok that last one was only after being cornered by the editor in the photocopy shop after not responding to her emails…) Things started to make sense. And I still have the documentation that shows all that. It’s glorious.

Looking at my old schoolwork, I wonder why I didn’t just do this, or that, the answer being so obvious to me now. I start editing my work. It would have worked better in such-and-such a way. But of course I didn’t know then what I know now. That’s why I was in school. Thank goodness that’s something I did.

COVID-19 Journal Entry 48

I did something yesterday that I don’t usually do. It went thusly:

I was all ready to walk to work with my running shoes and backpack, but as soon as I stepped outside I discovered it was raining. This was despite me looking out the window before I left the apartment and seeing no rain. (In the rain’s defence, it was still a little dark out, and none of the puddles I use as a gauge for rain has not yet formed). So not wanting to put up with this, I got in my car and drove instead.

As I drive I predicted that the rain would stop as soon as I parked. I was right.

What I don’t usually do is drive to work since it only takes about 5 min and it’s just as worthwhile to walk. Also, if there is any way of talking myself out of driving, I will. But it was raining big *plop plop* rain so I felt encouraged to not walk.

Lindsie’s policy in regards to her commute.

  • Walk most days, unless:
    1. It’s raining and I don’t want to walk, or
    2. I’m tired and I don’t want to walk, or
    3. I have to transport something heavy and I don’t want to carry it, or
    4. My feel hurt, or
    5. I feel like driving
  • Policy is subject to change when I feel comfortable taking the bus again

I’m on my annual birthday holiday for two weeks now. In the scheme of things where I travel somewhere fancy for my birthday every other year, I should be on my way to London or Mexico right now. This isn’t a very well established scheme since it’s only happened once, but I had vague plans to do it again. In true COVID fashion, I have instead purchased three flavours of coconut-based frozen dessert … that’s not even a little bit the same thing! There are such glorious vegan desserts in London I could be sampling.

Vegan Dessert, circa March 23, 2019

COVID-19 Journal Entry 47

My mental health coping mechanism throughout the winter months has been to write something every day. Almost every evening since November 1 I’ve written 700 or 1000 or 1300 words of a continuous narrative. The content of this is less important* than the fine sense of accomplishment I had every day having completed a little chunk of story. It’s been nice to have something to focus on, think about, construct. I did it if I was in a good mood, or a bad mood, or too tired.

It’s been mostly a free-writing, get to the next plot point, just get in those words kind of writing. I like doing this at night because I’m less likely to think about what I’m doing too much. I’ve been cozied up on my chair with my big light on, listening to CBC Music (although at first I tried having Corronation St. on at the same time. This was pure folly).

At the beginning of March I decided to keep writing until March 19, which is a Friday. On March 20 I will try reading what I’ve written because I haven’t done that yet and I’ve forgotten what I did in November. Spring time might be a time for editing, but it might be a time for putting it away to pull out later because it suuuuuuuuuuucks and writing is hard and I don’t know why I bother**.

I’m looking forward to reading it. I enjoy reading my own work. I can be quite clever sometimes.

* “content isn’t important” means it’s not fit for human consumption

**This is a stage of the writing process. I don’t mind admitting that I’m really good, and well practiced at this part.

Things I Want to Remember about the Pandemic

(A mostly truthful numbered list of memories)

Number Three: A contant stash of Daiya Cheese Shreds.

A year ago, at the beginning of the pandemic, I bought Daiya Cheese Shreds as “a treat”. I don’t usually buy cheese shreds because I can grate my own cheese. But it’s weird times! Let’s live it up a little. I decided this weekend on the way home from getting another couple of packages during my grocery run that a year of getting a thing doesn’t really constitute a treat anymore and that I don’t really need to buy them anymore. Probably.

Sublist: things I’ve learned about Daiya Cheese Shreds:

  • They have a higher melting point than the cheese I usually use, but do melt eventually
  • They are coated in an oily film. This is extremely apparent when you get near the end of the bag
  • Taste good
  • Taste good on pizza
  • Taste good in macca-chee (though I combine with my usual cheese)
  • Resealable bag it’s packaged in doesn’t stand up in the fridge and flop all over the place.
  • Go on sale a lot
  • Dry out into wee sticks if dropped on the floor and forgotten.
  • Good on a “melt” style sandwich.

COVID-19 Journal Entry 46

I find that thinking about how it’s been a year is overwhelming. The 100% cure for this is to not think about it. Thus, the inspiration for the following chant:

Ice Cream!
And spoon.

Things I Want to Remember about the Pandemic

(The second thing in a list that may or may not be numbered)

Item 2: Going to the liquor store and stocking up with big bottles. I know lots of people have always gone done this, but not me. Especially not with the big bottles. Have I drunk exponentially more than I did before the pandemic? Yes, however this means that I have a wee bit o’ gin in my fizzy water everyday*, maybe a bottle of wine over the weekend. So way more than usual. Do I have a cup o’ wine next to me now? Yes I do. And also ice cream. (Note: ice cream consumption has not changed)

*everyday last spring for sure when it was all treats during the pandemic, and then in to the summer. Around Christmas I decided this wasn’t actually sustainable or healthy so now it’s less.

**Does the topic of my pandemic remembrance topic for the day help with the aforementioned not thinking about the pandemic? No. It makes me think about it more, and in more creative ways.