Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Woo Hoo!!! some birthday bliss

This was the sunset on my birthday. Following this glorious sunset was a full moon and Roman candle style fireworks. Lucky coincidences :)

This was probably the nicest birthday I've ever experienced. It started Sunday with a group of friends at Fraktal - great burgers, even better company - and then I watched Inception with a few other friends. Monday began with an early morning talk with both my mother and my daughter, an enjoyable lunch with some co-workers, an early departure from work for a pedicure and massage, and then an incredible BBQ gathering hosted by my friend - that's where we watched the sunset, the fireworks and the moon rise.

Today I was super productive - 2 loads of laundry, mopped, dishes, a meeting with my landlord, a trip to the bank to get things sorted (and 2 tutorials while I was there), and work - all before 12:30... and at work my boss greeted me with a belated birthday celebration. We opened a gift from our students - 20 year old Armenian cognac. The cognac is older than this country. And to top it off - my Adobe Acrobat, which I've been waiting for for 2 months, was finally installed!

This has been an excellent week, and it's only mid-day Tuesday. :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

what's obvious to friends...

Today I went out for a pre-birthday celebration with some good people I don't see quite enough of. I really enjoy them and for some reason they seem to enjoy me too... While out we talked a bit about some of the stuff in my previous post.

I stated that if I left my job then I'd also have to leave school... and if I leave school there's really no reason for me being here, and how I'm then faced with the question, "What am I doing here?" They acknowledged that if I leave the job then leaving school would follow as it's really the same thing, but hen didn't follow me to the question. They said, well if you leave your job and you leave school then you just get another job - cause what you're doing here is living here. You can do anything, but you live here.

not much new... it's just blerg - skip it if you want

I've had so much going on lately, but not much new. I'm still a bit unsettled about the whole work thing and my direction here - and that's caused a bit of overdue self-reflection... along the lines of WTF am I doing here? I've been asking myself that a lot lately as I sit on the tram on my way to a job where I feel like I'm being stifled and not able to be as fully effective as I could/should be for any number of reasons. I had high hopes that would change but it hasn't and I am at a loss as to how to fix it. Time I suppose, but it's not necessarily time I want to invest on a hope...

It's more than that. It's the lack of direction, the lack of focus and my current inability to identify what drives me. It's like I'm completely lacking my motivation and haven't figured out how to turn on my inner drive. It's not the happiest of places to be.

In fact, I've been feeling in such a rut and so overwhelmed with work/school/health stuff that I've seriously questioned my continued existence in this country. Sometimes things just seem a little too foreign still, and it's not a language thing, it's more like inter-personal behavior and a cultural thing. Other times I just feel too sensitive to deal with what's going on... it's too blunt, too harsh, too flippant, too indifferent. Too much.

And then I think about what I have here that's positive and lovely - primarily, my friends. They're valued and treasured for so many reasons more than what you'd normally value and treasure your friends for if we're talking about people in and from your country of origin. Hard to describe but there's a different sense of unity within an expat community - even if we're all from different places we're incredibly united by both language and circumstances. I look to them for strength and advice in situations that my back-home friends couldn't understand. We're part of a smaller community within this large city and it's insular and tight-knit and I love them.

I'm continually growing and developing new relationships and dynamics and exploring new avenues, but it's all without structure and so sometimes things feel so flash in the pan and empty at times... it's crap. It's that lame-ass ennui. But it's not cause I'm trying to fight it - it's being discontent with the discontent, I'm not embracing it, but I'm feeling overwhelmed and a little lost and trying to figure out how to get over it.

I'm used to something different. I feel the need for a change, but I'm acknowledging, now, that change isn't one that needs to be external circumstances. It's me. I need to fix it myself, find my passion, re-connect with what feeds me, incorporate it on a stronger level, and then figure out if where I'm at, physically, is what's right for me or not... and if not then address the question - where is?

Friday, July 2, 2010

An International Nailing

Last night was my first venture in to a "nail bar". I'd heard reference to it before but hadn't been there... I went to a raucous dinner event with friends and late in the realized I was tired, out of money and should really head home when I was informed that we were all moving to this mythical magical place - the nail bar.

So I did the logical thing and followed.

(It was actually quite close to my flat so not any sort of major detour or anything - less than a 10 minute walk home, door to door.)

So, you may ask, what is a nail bar? I did, having never heard of one before. A nail bar is a bar, and in the center of the bar is a giant stump - a section of a big log standing on its end, about 4 feet or so high. You approach the bartender and you ask for nails for all the participants and a hammer. Then you find your sweet spot in the stump and tap the nail in to the notch on the side of the hammer and wait for the game to begin.

The idea behind the game is this - you flip the hammer over so the end facing down is the narrow end you use to pry stuff up with, you place it on the wood and you get a one movement swing, from wood to nail, to try to hit the nail with the narrow end and hammer it down flush to the wood. You get one swing only and then pass it along counter-clockwise. Then the next person takes one swing and so on. You must get the nail flush - if you can fit a fingernail underneath you're not done. The last person - or people - left with nails still standing have to buy drinks for all the winners. That's it. It's also a lot harder than it sounds.

I watched a full game, and a lot of frustration, and finally want home to sleep - all and all, it was a good night.