Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Done and done

Well, I've worked what should be my last trip of the year, tho I'll be taking the train out east at month's end. Pretty easy run. The train to Winnipeg was overstaffed because management made cuts to the train before the cuts to personnel went into effect. So I was one of two "Activity Coordinators" on a train with no "Activity Car." We were a couple hours late into the Peg, but would've been later, had we not gone thru daylight savings. Consequently, we had a very short break between trains, as the westbound train was not only on-time, but running early. I was still supposed to be an Activity Coordinator on the way home, but since this train was not as overstaffed, I was moved to the dreaded dining car. I've never worked as a waiter and have only worked a handful of waiter shifts in my five years on the railroad, so I try to avoid the diner as much as possible. Fortunately, the rest of the d.c. crew was into my proposition: I would forgo my share of tips if I could do dishes all trip (there's no dedicated dishwasher in the d.c., usually; the waiters just take turns). So my last half trip was spent in splendid isolation from the travelling public. A nice change, since my normal job description could be boiled down to "Talk to People." And in the end, they still cut me in on the tips. It was actually a pretty fun trip.

So you'd think I'd be home for a rest, but... I have to fly to Montreal on the 9th for a date in small claims court with Revenu Quebec. Long story short, I've been fighting with them for three years over a clerical error made by an accountant on my 2000 tax return (the accountants wrote Quebec, where they were supposed to write Nunavut--last time I hire someone for $50 to do my taxes). They say I owe them $6000, I say I owe them nothing. Revenue Canada and the Tax Court of Canada have both agreed with my position, but their hands were bound by statute of limitation rules. Hopefully the Quebec court judge is equally clear-eyed. It will be very good to have this monkey off my back. I now have to translate all the arguments I've been making over the last three years into passable French. But not too passable, 'cause, you know, I've never been a resident of Quebec.

After that, we're off to Victoria for the weekend of the 14th/15th. On the 14th, we're launching Jailbreaks at the Black Stilt Cafe (#103-1633 Hillside, 7:30 pm); by we I mean myself, along with contributors Steven Price and Alan R. Wilson. On the 15th, I'm taking part in the Victoria launch for the new anthology of BC poems, Rocksalt at Bolen Books (#111-1644 Hillside, 7 pm). Also reading: Eve Joseph, Kyeren Regehr, Donna Kane, Derk Wynand, Genine Hanns, Linda Rogers, Jane Munro, Catherine Greenwood, Danielle Walker, Peter Morin, Maleea Acker, Allison Blythe, Rhonda Ganz, Marilyn Bowering, Karen Chester, Scott Lawrance, Patricia Young, Diana Hayes, Patrick Friesen, Iain Higgins, Cathy Ford, Carla Funk.

On the 18th, I'm taking the Greyhound up to Prince George, a 12 hour excursion, for a reading at UNBC on the 19th. Don't have all the details for that one yet, but I believe it's at 10 am. Then bus back to Van on the 20th.

On the 21st, I'm doing another Rocksalt event in North Vancouver (32 Books, 3185 Edgemont Blvd., 7:30 pm), along with David Zieroth, Rob Taylor, Alan Hill, Trevor Carolan, Daniela Elza, Christopher Levenson, Heather Haley, Kate Braid, Daniela Elza, Russell Thornton, Joanne Arnott, Peter Trower.

On the 25th, I'm reading at the Railway Club (Vancouver, 579 Dunsmuir, 6:30 pm) with Tony Power, Ada Smailbegovic, Mercedes Eng, Larissa Lai.

And then, on the 30th, we hit the rails for Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and PEI. Details on events forthcoming. Phew.


richard said...

You've got HOW many people jamming into Bolen's on the 15th? Good god. I may have to swing the Black Stilt instead.

Zachariah Wells said...

I gather it's a tight squeeze? Never been there myself. This could be interesting.