Sunday, March 28, 2004

I Totally Miss This...

The cost is too high right now. Perhaps I should open up an Internet Cafe in Belfast.

I have Dave sighing over my shoulder.

I hope to update more but I need to get a job.

I have an amazing flat and I'm so happy where we are.

I love my fridge and freezer.

I love my dry bathroom which is not in the basement.

I love my laminate floors. No vacumning.

I love it here.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

We are no longer homeless!!

Have found an amazing flat in Belfast. I love it.

Details and pics later.

Keep your fingers crossed for some employment now.

Sorry so short. This internet cafe is ££$$$.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Another Jet Plane Tomorrow

So I have been quite slack this week. I have only really been online for a total of 4 hours. It really sucks not to be able to drink my tea, read my sites, update my stuff.

Plus, we're coming close to crunch time on another issue of Mosaic Minds and I'm feeling VERY GUILTY for being not putting in as much as I'd like to this month. It's set to be another great issue with a ton of interesting articles.

I have felt more like myself in the last week than I did probably the entire month of February. I realize this may be coming out of the blue and sound quite harsh but being back here has made me reconnect with the Europe Abbey and I gotta say, I really like her.

It's not that I dislike being around people at home or that I miss them any less. It's just that I haven't quite figured out how to be the person I am here..there..

Hopefully this year will help me figure that out.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

The Eagles Have Landed

I've done it! I am here. It feels so good to be back.

I had such a wonderful, fantastic, exciting, amazing, spectacular, uplifting, inspiring and all around great time when I was home for three months.

I managed to reconnect with a lot of friends, take stock of what and who was important and also set up amazing network opportunities work wise.

If I had never been home, I would never have gotten involved in Mosaic Minds. What a great bunch of ladies to work with. Always inspiring and helpful - thanks for understanding my move issues ladies!!

I must say, though, it was time to go. Time to come across the pond to try it out again for a little while.

I'm sure when I get my flat in Belfast and a job that I'm happy with, I'll start missing everyone all over again.

But for now, my itchy feet need some lotion.

Leeds is exactly the way I left it. I suppose it has only been three months but I expected SOMETHING to change. Besides the fact that the train station now has bus stops outside of it, everything pretty much feels the same.

It's like I never left.

To top it off, I am working back at my old place for a couple of days. I can't believe it. Same stuff. All the same stuff. I never realized how much office things hang on.

It feels good to be back.

Not sure when I'll write again but so far, positive return experience.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Flying Away Today

I am so much more frazzeled then expected.

I am so much more drained from saying goodbye to so many people all over again.

I don't remember this much frustration last time.

Perhaps I was more excited. Why am I not as excited as last time?

I think I just need to get there.

I will try and update soon but I'm already behind today.

I wish I could sound more postitive on my last day in the country, but perhaps I had too many expectations for this day.

Friday, March 12, 2004

A Good Sendoff?

As I was driving in D's parents car yesterday, listening to the Barenaked Ladies latest album, I was overcome with happiness.

I was so overcome with happiness that the morbid part of my brain piped up and thought that if I was to be hit by another car and die, right at that moment, that I would have been happy with the way I left the world.

Singing my heart out to my favourite band by myself - freedom - in a fancy car on the highway. I was comforted to know my loved ones would probably imagine me that way in my final moments.

No pain. No fear. No disease. Heck, probably not even a clue what happened.

Just happy. Just singing.

If you gotta go, it sounded like a great way, at the time.

It must be my leaving that has warped my thoughts so.

Perhaps I realize that I have done almost everything I came home to do. And now I'm heading off again, happy to take on another world without fear.

Another new beginning. Hopefully I'll be contently singing my way through that one as well.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Mosaic Minds Question

Always looking for some insight, we're asking this question for our Online Outlook section this month:

Have you ever jumped feet first into something that you thought you should know more about? What did you learn about yourself?

If you have a great tale, about 4 to 5 sentences long, please email travel@mosaicminds.net. Include your name as well as email and web address if desired - free advertising for you!

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Busy Busy Busy *sung in ABBA Money Money Money style*

Okay, it's happening. I realize I just wrote about the list.

But I'm feeling the strain again. Problem is, I am a procrastinator - some of you may know that as I have written numerous times about my difficulty with leaving things until the last minute.

I'm off to Toronto today for a romantic day with D. Ontario Art Gallery, fancy dinner, Theatre show and a night in a hotel. Luxurious.

I am, however, not going to be at my computer until probably Thursday.

So, I will update then and apologies for this short note.

I wish I had a cell phone where I could up date this blog. I know you can actually email updates to a blog from anywhere. All I would need is a phone I could email from.

(See?? What AM I talking about? I've got a ton of things to do before we take off and I'm going on about updating a blog by a phone???)

Monday, March 08, 2004

Making a List and Checking It Twice

I have been known to panic. It's part of my personality. My control-freak nature doesn't allow me to feel okay with just coasting.

And so on the weekend, I had in my mind that I had SO MUCH TO DO!! and that I needed tons of days to get it done. How was I going to manage?

Ah, my favourite part - making a list. Write down everything that is in your head and make a list. Perfect.

This must be why I like writing so much. It orgainzes my thoughts. It allows me to express myself.

So, after I wrote the list last night, I realized, that I don't actually have that much to do. It's more about the people that I have to see before I go. It didn't seem this difficult last time I left. I think perhaps I've been a bit lazy and selective with my time this time round. And now, when it has come down to the last week, I have all these people I have not yet seen and would like to see before I go.

I will probably have to start instituting the "I'm here. If you want to see me, come on over."

As I looked at the other things on the list last night, it was not so overwhelming. I also gave myself a schedule to get things done.

I must say, I don't know what I'm going to do not being able to update this regularly. When we first arrive, I'm pretty sure we'll be relying on internet cafes etc. to access the internet.

Today, I'm off to assess the luggage-clothing situation. It's a bit different this time as I'm not backpacking around Europe but actually living in Belfast so I need to make sure I have an appropriate wardrobe. Last year, I looked like a peasant - with only four workoutfits, how was I supposed to pull off a five day work week?

So, off to check things off the list. I will feel very satisfied.

Considering the first thing on last week's list was "Cancel Credit Card" I have been unable to complete anything. And I still haven't heard from that *nice* persuading dork of a guy at the credit card company about any changes.

Guess I'll have to call again and cancel my card.

******

On a reading note, I really got into another blog the other day - Leukemia Survivor.com. This guy has amazing prose and also, an incredible story. I was most intrigued by his England section, where he talks about finding out. If you've got a half an hour, have a sift through. It's amazing stuff.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Found Again

A bit of a melodrama. It was back within 20 minutes. Sorted.
EMAIL EMAIL EMAIL!!

I AM SO LOST RIGHT NOW!! MY EMAIL IS DOWN AND I CAN'T ACCESS IT!!


*having a freak out*
Can You Just Cancel It Please?

I made the mistake this morning of doing something that I've never done before.

I tried to cancel my credit card.

It has been over a year since I have begun to phase the credit cards out of my life. It has been about 7 or 8 since I have used them for a variety of purposes.

The first major expense was when I was in second year university and I decided that I would put my 4 day trip to Las Vegas on the card. What a rush. It was like free money.

And although I was never as crazy as the Shopoholic of Sophie Kinsella fame (reading the series right now - so funny), I did tend to rationalize all my purchases.

I ended up have three credit cards, a gas card and a store card. Who knows how it happened but you know they just send you those "You're approved!" and I can't seem to help it.

I even did one of those funky bank debt consolidation loans. Figured I needed credit with the bank and wanted a lower interest rate. You see? More rationalization.

And then the balances would just go up. Clothes here, drinking and dinner there. Next thing you know, I'm owing double.

But, when it came to to actually save for something that really mattered (moving across the pond and travelling for a year), I managed to control the spending, get all the money on one card and began to pay it off.

Things were looking good. I finished my debt loan. I actually paid off two of the cards and had it all put onto one of the cards. One monthly payment. Sweet.

So today, I decided that after having a credit card - which I had already cut up - for over a year with a $19.27 credit on it, I might as well cancel it.

If you've never done this before, you will never believe how tough it is. Of course, perhaps I'm just niave and thought I could just call and say, "I'd like to cancel my card" and that would be the end.

"Why are you cancelling, maam?"

"Because I don't need it."

"You don't use it?"

"No, I cut the card up a year ago. I haven't used it and I already have enough cards"

"Well, you've been with us a long time and have a very good credit rating". Shame on Kevin for stroking my ego. Now, it seems he's sucking me in.

And the next thing I know, not only am I NOT cancelling my card, I am getting a credit increase - at an EXCELLENT low rate - and maxing it out to pay a portion off the other card.

"Have a nice day" I said.

Oh dear. Oh my goodness gracious.

And then I went to talk to D.

"Why did you panic?"

"I don't know!! I just wanted to cancel the card!!" and suddenly, I"m realizing that I AM the girl in the Shopoholic series. Just not with items but with credit.

D looked at me calmly.

"Call them back. Tell them you don't want an increase and you don't want their low interest rates and the only way you will take anything is if they give you the low interest rate for the full amount of the other card so that you can cancel that card. And if they can't give you that, then you just want to cancel it."

I called them back. They were nice and didn't hold me to the deal I made 5 minutes before.

But they convinced me to go through a check to see if I could get the full amount.

And now I sit and wait. They're supposed to call me back.

I just wanted to cancel my card. I should have just left the stupid thing.

Lesson learned - cancelling your credit card is not as easy as it may seem.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Vint Day 2004

With my parents living in a different country, every time I have visited over the past few years, it has always been like a holiday.

And holidays are great. You get to sightsee, eat loads, drink loads all in the name of "vacation".

But sometimes, because it has always been so short, I find myself wishing that I could just lounge around on their couch and act as though I see them every day.

This time, it was more like that.

Because D and I arrived 5 days before everyone else, there wasn't any pressure to act like it was vacation.

We could just sit around. We watched television. We ate in instead of eating out. We went to bed at a reasonable time.

My mom fixed a weird face reaction that I seemed to be having.

It was just like as though we lived around the corner instead of an 8 hour drive away.

I loved it.

Of course, by Friday, the extravaganza was ready to begin. My youngest sister had flown from her college in NC. My younger sister and her boyfriend were on their way from Toronto. My brother came across town from his college.

And the Vints were in full swing for Vint Day.

There were photographs, fancy sitting portait ones and then of course our off the wall one that included all of us with a mask from Alice in Wonderland - we can't do everything the same! We MUST do things just a twinge differently then everyone else :).

Then there was champagne - Dom Perignon (did I spell that right?) - and lots of giggles - "That stuff will hit ya". There was video footage. Lots more pictures. And we watched the Mad Hatter Tea Party feature on the Alice in Wonderland DVD, which really made you feel like you were high on something...but then again, that could have been the champagne.

There was karaoke. We all sang - except of course for mom and the boyfriends - but we were able to sing multiple times and still get home to drink amongst ourselves and do more chatting.

There was a night of bowling, eventually, drunken bowling which was followed by the Oscars in my parents living room.

There was an hour long DVD that my brother had put together of our Vint family video archives. They're so much more interesting when someone has edited and clipped them for you.

There was an amazing BBQ steak dinner. There was lots of tea. There were many bowls of the tomato and cilantro dip that my sisters, mom and I have fallen in love with.

There was just lots of us being us, and us being us together.

I always miss my family when I have to leave. I distance myself sometimes because it's just easier then feeling like we live around the corner all the time because then we I have to go, sadness hits me.

My parents have raised us to be very independant people. We are all taking control of our lives and I'm sure, as parents, it's great to see your kids be able to be so independant. When we see them now, it is because we want to hang out and be with them, not because we are looking for a free dinner or have to get some laundry done.

Being far away makes us appreciate us.

And soon, I'll be even farther away. I don't know if I could appreciate all their character and spark more then I already do.

*****

Mosaic Minds Reads

Just wanted to give you all a run down of my articles on Mosaic Minds this month:

Check my story on my old family home and what I learned through letting go.

Wanna see a movie? Good date flick and good thinking flick.

A destination for a princess - this place is honeymoon material.

A new hobby to organize my junk.

There are a ton of other stories by amazing women so please check those out too. Just couldn't help a bit of a plug on all this writing I've been doing.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

The Goal

I've got myself a goal. I will attend this in May..in Paris.

I'm going out on a limb here, stating this here and now, but let's just say I need to set some deadlines for myself and this is one of them.

Things to do before that:

1 - Set my life up in Belfast, NI. This is kind of a big one, which includes many little ones they are:

1a - Get a house
1b - Get a job
1c - Begin to pay off my debts

2 - Save for the conference

So, really, it's not THAT big of a challenge. Really.

(A girl can dream can't she? If you'd like to assist a crazy girl getting to Paris from Belfast in May, please email her)

Monday, March 01, 2004

WE'RE LIVE AGAIN!

Hello all - Mosaic Minds Nostalgia issue was posted today! Check it out

Here's the link to pass along to all you know:

http://www.mosaicminds.net


*********


VINT DAY RULED..but more on that later...