Friday, May 28, 2010

On the importance of purpose

If any change came out of last summer's adventure, its a renewed sense of purpose. If anything, I find that the majority lack this sense of purpose, going through life in routine motions, expecting that tomorrow will look pretty much the same as today. This is why most people react poorly when the wrench is tossed in the gears and routine goes out the window. Living week to week, day to day, the plan is pretty basic, mostly involving getting the paycheck and paying the bills.

And careers. I cannot stand that poor meme. I cant abide with the idea that I'm expected to pick a single path and stick to it till the paradise of retirement. If anything, careers no longer exist and retirement is something of a pipe dream.

I strive to act with purpose, move with purpose, think with purpose. Not to the benefit of anybody else, for their goals and dreams. but for my own, my own plans my own expectations about myself. People who thrive in the service of others are those who have an emptiness inside and feel a desperate need to fill the gap. That is the purpose of religion, and to my mind, the obsession with being "in a relationship." It is expected that its a fulfillment, but its mostly about gaping the wound in the soul. If relationships happen, they happen, if they dont they dont, so deal with that fact. Have purpose for yourself.

If you wait too late, you've only got yourself to blame.

This bring me to the current issue. My landlord, a nice guy and all, cant seem to really decide what he wants to do about our moving out. First it was okay, on a three months period; then he asked us to stay; once we said, its done, we're moving, then we were to find someone to take the lease... or something. Now, it seems that he would have liked us to move for July 1rst, because he's have a hit period of moving, and he wants to increase the rent.

It mostly seems that he's finally cluing in to the idea that our moving out might be a good thing, which I had told him, but its a little late in the process now. He didn't have a plan, because he expected us to stay another year. He didn't increase rents much all this time, possibly because it might have enticed us to move out. But now that he's struggling to get loans and so forth, apparently because he doesn't charge enough rent, now he wants to increase it in one shot twice as much as he has increased it for the 5 years I've been here.

My purpose remains the same, my direction remains the same, our timing remains pretty much the same. Our plan needs no change, as I'm sticking to the original agreement. His plans get thrown on the side, as he never really had one in the first place.

I have no time for those without purpose, without direction. I follow my own creed, I listen to my own advice, and to hell with those who thing that they can stand in my way.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Being in charge

Moving out is always contains a certain element of stress, no matter the amount of excitement involved. After all, you have to pack up all your belongings, change addresses, deal with utilities, and so forth. You unwrap the cocoon and move it to its new location, hoping for the best.

In this city, the majority of moves are done on July 1st, which causes massive chaos, as streets are blocked off, the costs of movers shoot up, and the crazy hunt for a new abode is condensed in a fairly maddening three month (the regulatory warning period one must give for the landlord to find new tenants.)

And then, there's cases like ours, where we had agreed to renew, and then asked to drop it. Our three months just got shifted some, which isn't that bad when you think about it, since that we dont have to fight it out with the rest of the population for moving services.


Having just announced to our landlord, who had asked us to reconsider and stay) that we were, yes, moving, I was told that we were now also in charge of finding new tenants. So I guess that we're transferring the lease. Because we didn't have enough already to deal with, we now have to put out an add, take pictures, deal with viewings... and get the chosen one approved by the landlord.

The lucky winner will get the chance to obtain some free furniture, but still, this is now our responsibility to deal with. Great.

Lets see how much rental magic this sorcerer can muster...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Do not adjust your tv set

Last week was pretty hellish, but not because it was particularly hectic. Well, it was, sort of. As in, increasing return-to-work workload, combined with the hunt for an apartment. So, yeah, fairly hard on the nervous system. Hard enough that the rehab had diagnosed neurological fatigue.

Which in fact, didn't happen.

My educated guess is that the pressure of the increased workload, and the limbo land of waiting for the rental application to go through sucked the system dry. Especially since that the landlord tried to talk us into keeping the lease for another year, trying to scare us or something, which didn't work, but there's always doubt when the decision is out of your hand.

But Tuesday came, and the energy were actually running high, no fatigue... and then the phone call. Ahead of time, which could go either way, but it was positive, as our request was approved. Talk about awesome. And since we're back in control of our living arrangements, I'll be back in control of my work situation too, as next week its the last of my test drive, and its going to be full time. After that, its back to work, period. I'll have a last meeting with the rehab folks and out with them.

Back in control.

And back to my real paycheck. It doesn't seem like much, but 90% of the paycheck is still a gap. The extra $30-40 a week can go a long way if properly managed.

So I'll be back in the driver's seat. Soon in a new, better, quieter home, that supports animals companions, so we dont have to hide anything, and we'll be able to get a nice big snuggly cat.

Its been a wild and crazy ride.

Onward and upward.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A showcase of good tastes

Well, anyone can claim that they can cook; I go a few steps beyond, transforming existing products into something that is so much more.

First example, is my homemade subs. slow poached onions, mushrooms, three kinds of meat and good proper cheese. Why would I want to eat the takeout stuff?

Ah, one of my favorites: goat cheese, matured in wine for three months. Great stuff.

Chili roasted turkey: this is turkey the way it should be. Eat as is, or pull the meat off to add to a dish.

Frittata, the Spanish breakfast of champions. Seriously a great way to start your day, especially if its Sunday.

Another easy dish, mussels. A kilo pack, when coupled with a baguette and the delicious, flavorful soup makes a full meal unto itself. I would add nothing more than a light crispy green salad.

And finally, last night's dinner: roasted bone marrow. The bit of sauce you can peek behind the bones is my personal touch to an easy dish, a delicious condiment that I will certainly make again: sauted onions, with a good amount of butter, salt, black pepper and mustard powder, which is then roasted with the bones in a good amount of good beer. Delicious!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

We lost control

When dealing with somewhat major changes, like a new place of dwelling, there are many things involved which you can do that will make things smoother. Its always a good idea to check your finances, determine what you're looking for , the upper and lower limits, both of your budget and what you're looking to obtain. Its always a recommendation that you move up, rather than sideways; trading for the same, but different makes no logical sense.

Preparing ahead of time is always helpful. Whether its the packing, the scouting of locations, or just checking to see just how much movers cost, preparation is half the game.

Once that you've gotten the intelligence together, its time to sit down and prepare your strategy. Where you'll campaign, for how long, and so forth. That being done, you work out your tactics on the ground; make the calls, set appointment, visit, ask questions. Get a short list together, look at the pros and cons, pick a pack leader. Then apply for it.

And that's when you lose control. Because other, external factors come into play. The ones you can only control so much. Will you get a good reference from your current landlord? From your bank? How deep will they dig? Are there any factors that will be seen as a problem by the actual owner, someone whom, most likely, you'll never meet, as you deal with the building manager?

After all the canvassing, begins the waiting game.

And you thought that you were stressed before...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Who's the boss

Today, after a ten months absence I returned to work.

I cant really say that I missed the place. Its not that I was happy to stay home and get paid for it; been there, done that, got my t-shirt and used it to clean the windows. The habits born of not answering anyone for my whereabouts for a long enough period of time will take some time to plow over, but at the beginning, it'll take some focused effort.

Ironically, I had been looking forward to this, not so much to "return to the workforce", but to stop being dependent for my income. Especially since that when I left the live-in rehab (aka phase two), I was on a good action roll. I would have plowed through phase three and would have been back at work six months ago. But some unseen forces decided that this wasn't gonna happen.

So the habits set in, and weight poured on, and I am back at the place I was two years ago. Well, minus the bike. I am going to return to the road, but first, getting my schedule in order is what's the most important. And finding a new apartment.

So this spring is going to be somewhat... hectic. But its to be expected really. When you're in a rut for long enough, any decision encouraging change tends to snowball into an avalanche, with more and more little bits of chaos adding on, and the best thing you can do is learn to surf the wave. Trying to stop, or slow it down will lead to nothing but broken bones and unnecessary wear and tear. Build some muscles, and you'll just be able to move larger and larger obstacles out of the way to your goals.

There is no turning back; the past is that dead thing in the closet that's wearing your mother's nightgown. The future is the bright light coming from the doorway. And now, you get to be born, again and again.