Moving On, Part IV: A Wrench in the Gears

I had planned to make Part IV of this thrilling saga you’ve been reading to be about purchasing a new place. I spent a lot of time looking right before I left California, in between furiously packing, selling and giving away everything I owned. I figured if I could find a place before I left, I would be ready to move right in when I returned to California for the winter. I even made two offers on places, though I didn’t follow through with either of them. One because I came to my senses that it was actually more than I could afford, and the other I determined was just too small. Which, as it tuns out, was a good thing.

Two days after leaving California, I was in Rhode Island to visit my brother for a couple of days, en route to Barcelona. I was working  at the bar which serves as the kitchen in his house. He lives in a former bar- but before you go thinking he is a total degenerate, he owns the entire building plus a few more in Newport. He just has a high tolerance for unconventional living situations. And questionable levels of cleanliness. Which is why I ended up cleaning his bathroom the night I arrived. But my brother is a story for another time. So there I was, working away next to the empty beer taps, sweating  to get an assignment completed a little bit early, when I got the call. That “I hate to deliver the news…but we don’t have any more work for you” call. Suddenly, finishing that task early was not so important. In fact, that assignment got turned in three days late.

I probably should have seen this coming, but I didn’t, or maybe I didn’t want to. When you work on a project basis, even when you are a full time employee, this is a call you get sometimes. I was given an option to keep my employee status without pay, like I did for nearly all of 2009, which might let me pick up work here and there, and likely guarantee me time on the next project. But I chose the layoff. Yes, in this job market, I’m probably crazy. But I’m hoping that my friend JJ’s psychic email skills are accurate when she says she senses a fulfilling opportunity will present itself to me randomly and easily. Though I’m not sure what that is going to be.

For the moment, I’m OK. I don’t know where to start, but panic hasn’t set in yet. My self doubt is at a manageable level, only requiring a few handfuls of chocolate chips to maintain my calm as I write this.

Could this wrench be a fortunate thing?

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I’ve Been Busy

Oh hello, I didn’t see you there.  Evidently I have a blog I forgot about.

I’ve been busy, so let me recap quick like and then I can get back to posting photos of food and crap like I have been doing.

– I went to the Mugello GP with the boyfriend. Met my home girl Susanna there and two of her friends. Boyfriend stayed in a house with his team and I stayed in a hotel with Suz, where all of my former co-workers, including former  boss, were staying. Awkward?

– Been riding mountain bikes a lot in Italy. Boyfriend was a downhill racer, wants to return to the sport, and has hopes that I will want to race downhill too. However, it has become clear this is not a sport I am going to excel in. I tend to look forward to the parts of the ride that are on the pavement instead of the rocks, and I like uphill better than downhill. Oh yeah, all those beautiful mountain trails and river runs? SWARMING with mosquitoes. Maybe growing up in the desert gave me no resistance to mosquito spit or something, because I scratch bites until they bleed and scar. And of course, freak the fuck out when they cover my legs and are swarming in my face and ears.  My behavior is, as my boyfriend says in his special English, “like a children”.

– Gave up the supermoto racing plans. I mean, supermoto is fun and all but 1) I’m slow 2)  I prefer roadracing. I’d like to return to roadracing and will start on a 125 again if I do. I’ll of course keep you updated if that happens. But I HAVE been preparing for it. You know, as in breaking my collarbone.

– I lost 15 pounds. (This is related to preparing for racing but it merits it’s own bullet point.) I can now wear the same clothes I brought with me from California when I came here in 2008. The bike riding has helped, but stopping with the eating of the chocolate every single day for the last two years (I did not miss one day, call me consistent if nothing else) maybe helped a little as well.

– And finally, there is work. The project I am on is ending in two weeks or so and the deadlines are inflexible. Not only that, but daily I receive tasks from various departments that are marked as Urgent and have a COB deadline  (that means the end of the day for you non office types. Mom.) COB in California is 5pm. For me, that means 2am. So yes, I’ve had some late nights. Last night, in fact, I worked until 3am. Did I mention yesterday was Saturday? So yeah, I’ve been under a little pressure from work. And based on how many emails I sent and received yesterday  I am not the only one working on the weekends. Remember that Loverboy song that goes “Everybody’s working for the week-end”? Well that song doesn’t apply to me. Just sayin.

And now my friends, I have to get back to work. But before I go, let me just share with you that as I write this, there is an American style (?)  rodeo/horseshow literally in the field next door. Complete with American flags flying. Announcers blabber (in Italian)  and music plays over the loudspeakers for 12 hours straight – Shania Twian and Willie Nelson, and when they run out of country CDs they play Lady GaGa and Jay-Z. Oh and right now, they just played the American National Anthem to present awards to a group of 6 year olds. You can’t make this shit up.

Italian children horse show contestants wondering when the US National Anthem with finish and the DJ will get back to playing Jay-Z. Photo taken from the balcony of boyfriend's house.