Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Finally Some Pictures

 Hard to tell perspective but it is a sheer drop at the edge of the rock.
The trees are actually farther away and lower down.
The breeze alone was well worth the hike, with silence a close second. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Yes it is Happening

In the "Wow, is this really happening" file, I have firmed up 3 "meet and greet"/interviews out west.  I can hardly believe it.  It has been 15 years since I first started searching for a place to work.  A couple of offices have said they are open to a part time arrangement.  The other one, not so much but their set up intrigues me so why not see it, right?  It's worth a couple of hours of my time.

We haven't talked money or any deep details.  I am not that concerned about it for now, funny enough.  Being that I haven't just stepped out of school, it isn't my abilities I question anymore, it is the fit.  My gut will tell me if I could exist there.  And right now, I'm leaving it as simple as that.  We could go back and forth spending a ton of time matching details when in the end, it comes down to whether both parties feel strongly enough to want to make something happen.  Who knows?  Maybe they'll think I'm too old!  Younger tends to mean cheaper.

Whereas the process of chronically searching and applying for positions is old hat for D.  He has been doing interviews by phone, video and has progressed to in person.  And we'll be there soon. 

I'm feeling a bit apprehensive as I don't really believe this move will happen even though I've spent a significant amount of time communicating and organizing.  Plus it takes a lot of energy to be "On".  I'm not convinced I want it as much as D.  Guess I'm waiting for the city and everything else to fall into place and convince me. 

A bit ashamed to admit this, but I'm more excited about getting together with my buddy and his family so how's that for priorities?  He has graciously rearranged his schedule to give me a "hit the ground running" type of tour of the city to help narrow our choices with respect to potential neighbourhoods during D's interviews.  Then D and I will be off to the Realtor. 

I sifted through dozens and dozens of real estate listings while D was doing his bike race (did really well for his first go at 160 km).  All I can say is thank goodness for Google Street view because some really nice homes are not on really nice uniform streets.  It's really hard to get your money out from a custom build when no one else on the street is thinking the same thing...The price of poker seems to be 500K+ for what I would call a fixed up older starter home (1500 sq ft).

D has promised me that he won't be springing anymore of these mid life work crisis searches on me having realized how seriously I take things -- Really, how long has he known me?  Why would I spend all that money to truck out there this soon after coming home from an already expensive trip unprepared?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Totally Random

Each day of the last 2 weeks have felt like 4.  Super productive but also super tiring.  Add to it the heavy humid heat outside (we've been maxing out in the low to mid 40s C with the humidex) and relatively short walks leave me drained.  Happy to have an air conditioned home gym, that's for sure!  D has a race coming up.  I don't know how he does it.  He says he prefers slugging it out in the heat.  Give me ice and snow any day...
  • Want to be inspired?  Find yourself a copy of "Into The Cold:  A Journey of the Soul" by Sebastian Copeland.  I've watched it twice in the last week when I've felt really tired.  Afterwards, I don't feel so tired after all.  I think I'm due for another viewing...
  • My mind keeps drifting back to my time in Barcelona...Right now I'm thinking of the ice cream place I wandered to on a Sunday afternoon.  Gelateria Caffetteria Italiana (Plaça Revolucio De Setembre De 1868)  Must get back there soon.  KLM, throw me a seat sale!  Oh yeah, this last trip blew my travel budget for the year...OK, maybe no seat sale then.  Don't want to be tempted!
  • The reason I've/we've been so busy as of late is that we're putting together a quick trip out west to really check things out from a career and housing front.  Different city from last year.  Actually the same one as my buddy (whose wife has had 4 more visits to the ER and yet another surgery since!  Unbelievable.) so we'll have a chance to catch up.  A bit of a whirlwind trip but hopefully in depth enough to answer some important questions and maybe lay some things to rest (I hate the feeling of not being present for extended periods of time).  I feel this process is necessary for D to come to terms with whether the possibilities that exist in his mind or have heard about are actually possible.  And it will give us a chance to decide if we even like it there.  It's going to have to take much more than money to move all that way.  The adventure has to be there.
  • Being not much of a TV watcher, D finally managed to talk me into giving a few series a go.  So I'm all caught up with "Breaking Bad" and "Homeland" (took months).  I just couldn't get into "Arrested Development".  Saw my first episodes of "Gray's Anatomy" in Barcelona (Yes, I'm a slow adapter for a lot of things) so we've been watching that as well, starting with season 5 because I couldn't imagine starting all the way from the beginning.  D was reluctant at first but has gotten into it. 
  • Finally saw some 3D movies.  Both of us have not so great memories of the old time paper glasses with the coloured lens so we had been going out of our way to avoid it.  Can definitely say we are converts now.  We saw "Star Trek into Darkness" and "Man of Steel" and enjoyed them both.  No issues with dizziness or nausea.  Could have used more popcorn.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Broken Down

Our small appliances have been breaking down all over the place lately.  We now have a new iron, immersion blender and regular blender.  And the crock pot has developed a long crack... Is there some sort of rare planetary alignment going on??

And on top of all that, a day into my trip (trip report still to come, been too swamped to even think about it), I tugged a little too hard trying to get my ear bud headphones out of my purse and broke them.  Called Bose and it cannot be fixed because the wires they use would melt if you attempt to solder them.  But what they will do, is allow you to buy another pair for significantly less if you send in your old pair, which I have done.

Totally my fault.  The gentleman I spoke with thanked me for being honest.  What?!  It never even occurred to me not to be.  D says that speaks volumes of what they must hear all the time.   Even if my warranty wasn't over, I would never come up with some story to see if I could get them replaced for free.  Karma man.

I really miss them.  Using the headset from my new phone just doesn't cut it.  So I've resorted to my bigger noise cancelling ones from Bose and darned near over heated while working out.  Who knew over the ear style headsets are so good at trapping heat?  Very pleased to get the email telling me my new ones are on their way.  Man, I love that company.  Their customer service is tops.

I used Canada Post Expedited Service to mail my headset back and 80 - 90% of the time they are great.  Things get there in about 2 days.  So won't you know it, when I'm really really anxious about getting my stuff, they are late, 1 week late!  Turns out if you send via a method that guarantees delivery by a certain time and it didn't, you can request a credit for your fee.  Or that's how I read it.  We'll see shortly if that pans out. 

To balance out all the unexpected stuff that has come our way, I took another step towards bettering our health by adding a rowing machine to the home gym.  Wanted one for a long time but wanted to make sure I was getting good use of my treadmill and bike first.  Found it online used.  D's never used one before and am excited to give it a whirl.  I rowed for one summer while working at a camp for "gifted kids" way back when and loved it. 

Am not happy to report that I lost my first 500 m race to the computer when I thought I had won!  Obviously I wasn't tracking the correct boat on the screen...Was sore the next day so the racing accomplished something.  Game On Mr Computer.

After a bit of chasing UPS around (missed the delivery and they had to have someone over 19 sign for it...), I finally got my new ear bud headphones!  Listening to one of D's favourite tracks right now -- "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley.  These are the latest ones and sound better than my old set.  Hard to believe.  Incredible just how ridiculously happy great sound makes me feel.  Downright overwhelming.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

D's Mini Mid Life Work Crisis?

I came home to find D chest deep in a mini mid life crisis with respect to his work. 

He just started with a new and much better department but is still feeling restless.  Not even riding 100 km+ and all the other stuff he is into has shaken the feeling off.  So he searched for career opportunities out west and spoke to contacts and recruiters while I was gone.  We talked about it before I left but I didn't get the impression he was that serious.

We went through the real estate exercise a year or so ago and wasn't motivated enough to go further.  Who knows what this may bring.  Out of curiosity, I did a cursory look for myself.  Sure there are openings but finding a part time one hasn't been fruitful.  So, this new opportunity of D's would need to cover at least half of what I make to make it worthwhile and within my comfort zone.

He tells me if he is happily committed to working for the next 10 years, why not be in a "better" place sooner than later? 

I can't argue with that logic.  Neither of us are "in love" with where we are.  And we've carved out the greatest life we could based on our resources.  It's true we feel like we've "maxed out" on the best of our location. 

Canada is big.  Why not try living in a different part of it?  We already are with our ski condo, why not make another place permanent?  One thing's for sure, neither of us will miss the heavy humidity our region is known for.  So choices are Pacific or Atlantic, elevation or sea level.  It's kinda fun to dream but I've found it gets weary fast as I factor in all the financial and other logistical details etc.

Oh to be really young again, before I worried enough about stuff to veto ideas quickly. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

On Staying Calm

While unexpected big things have the potential to stop me in my tracks, many little things can add up to create enough irritation to make me want to blow up.  I call myself "Middle Way" not because I am, but because I would like to be.

D has a great attitude when it comes to the little things.  He likes to remind me in the big scheme of things, I win more than I lose. Very true but easy sometimes to lose sight of it. 

That was the mantra I repeated in my head when I found myself at the gate agent ready to board my flight and then was told I was at the wrong gate...there was a last minute gate change I did not know about but my big error was I forgot which city I was flying to so I was looking at the wrong city on the departure screens. 

And this happened on the way home too...It was the second time I've ever taken a flight where I connected in Canada before arriving to Europe (and home) so all I was thinking about was my destination city in Europe, not Canada...And the curious thing was in both cases, the flight times were similar if not identical.

Talk about being set in your ways...Seriously, I had to ask myself, is this your first time at an airport Missy?!

When I got to the correct gate, boarding was almost over.  Thank goodness I was in the right terminal or else my error would have meant many thousands of dollars in last minute flights (assuming there were seats left), copious amounts of internal swearing as well as a head explosion.  Thank goodness I did not have checked luggage. 

And to think I was relaxed going into this trip too.  Wasn't rushed, had a great dinner in T1 at Pearson (Mill Street Brewery Restaurant -- Their dinner sized spinach salad with fresh strawberries, candied pecans, balsamic shrimp and optional calamari was excellent and very filling), time to wander around, had good energy and then boom!

***Special shout outs to Lizzie who I silently waved to as I passed Winchester on the M3 and to Northern Living Allowance whose ears might have been burning while I was going through her soon to be home city -- (You are so going to have a great life there.  Had no idea how many parks and green spaces there was.  Wanted to have a drink at "The Cowherds" because the name made me laugh, but didn't have enough time.)***

Wouldn't this make a great kid's play set?