Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gratitude and Garlic Chicken

Happy Thanksgiving!
         I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday whether they were with family, friends or rollin' solo like I did. Yep that's right. My last Thanksgiving in the States for awhile, and I hibernated like a mo' only a true introvert can. I had quite a few lovely invitations, all from my favorite people, that at any other time I would've been all over. But since
A) I wasn't feeling so great at the start of the week as I mentioned when the movers were here,
2) I am mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually exhausted from this whole past month, and
C) I expended all my extrovert energy last night at Rochelle's birthday, the thought of celebrating in my Court cave was sounding better and better. No driving, no talking, no jam-hands (aka kids)?....Ding, ding, ding - we have a winner!
I'll take my gratitude with a side of Garlic Chicken from Versailles por favor. Thanksgiving L.A style bitches!

     Apart from going out to pick up my food for which I didn't even bother to change out of my pjs, I didn't leave my bed... (or rather, the amaze-balls air mattress I'm borrowing from Tim) ALL day! Fucking heaven I tell you. After devouring garlic laden chicken, black beans and plantains Zoe and I settled in to watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, keeping alive my family's Thanksgiving tradition of ushering in the Christmas season with laughter and perspective.
I might've gone the unconventional route (surprise, surprise) when it comes to celebrating one of, if not my favorite holiday but that is going to be number one on my 'Thankful' list --
  •  Taking care of and honoring myself! I'm of no use to anyone in my life if I don't give myself what I need to be my best..... and I think we've all seen me when I haven't, it's not pretty.... not pretty at all.
  • Being so close to my family. My dad's call this morning started my day with a smile, followed by my mom's and my usually lengthy chat where I felt like I was right beside her as she prepared for her 'orphan feast', and the sweet voice of my even sweeter sister ended my day as I sat with her outside watching the fire. We're spread out all over the place, but it doesn't matter. I actually think it's good, the miles and time differences have been good practice for this next year. These three people think I'm some kind of wonderful, and have raised me to believe it too. I get my strength and chutzpah from their unconditional love, support, and confidence in me.
  • Having, hands down, the greatest friends on the face of the earth...No, in the universe. the history of ever. Their love and generosity astounds me. It knocks me on my ass in fact. Their hearts are more open and their lights shine brighter than the average bear. These people are extra-ordinary. They see me, they support me, they push me, they call me on my shit and also sing my praise. Rochelle reminded me of a common line in one of our favorite shows, Once Upon a Time... "All magic comes with a price." It feels like the price of all the grace surrounding this magical time is having to say good-bye to these people. That pill is getting bigger and harder to swallow each day.
  • Being in love with a man who embodies all of the above, and makes me laugh....a lot!
  • Continuing to step outside my comfort zone and realize that sometimes the only transportation is a leap of faith.
  • Receiving a steady shower of magic... and HEARTS! From getting my visa approved in 4 days to weighing in at 200lbs LESS than my moving quote to getting to stay an extra week in my apartment for free.... I feel like with every heart I find, it peels away a layer of some kind of fog. When we start moving through our days/our lives more consciously we just SEE things differently. For me it shows up as hearts. When this fog lifts, more magic flows in.
  • Having the next three days off before my last week of work and life in L.A .... back into my cave I go :-)

9 Days Left......
Till next week: Love, Hugs and other 'Drugs'

Monday, November 25, 2013

Operation Across the Pond: Part 1

     Today is a biggest day in Operation Across the Pond since getting my visa approval. King Relocation Services (a branch of United Van Lines) is here to pack/load/ship my stuff. And by stuff I mean this pile here in my kitchen, NOT including the couch on which the tree painting is resting. Essentially, everything could fit into the back of a decent size pick-up, so I feel I've done well.

It's been a whirlwind leading up to today, let me tell ya. My phone is constantly blowing up with alerts and calendar reminders. I'm even fighting the onset of a cold from all the go-go-go and stress of it all... stress from excitement, stress from nerves, stress from emotion, stress from forms....oh gawd, the mountain of forms! Just for that tiny little pile, I had to go on and get an EIN # and label myself a sole proprietor in order to 'import' my handful my books, artwork, tchotchke, and art supplies. Then there's Zoe's forms and protocol, all the i-dotting and t-crossing for her has me more paranoid than anything else. It's all " X has to be done 21 days after such and such..", "Y has to be signed within 10 days of this and that"...
The process of expatriation is an intricate and fascinating one; i.e realizing that I need to get some kind of expat mail forwarding service for things like my right as rain annual jury summons, and to keep certain bank accounts or credit cards open till I suss all that over there. My dad has happily offered to be said service, so I may just take him up on that :-)
I had one yard sale, made $80, and said "Never again!" If I thought people on craigslist were bad in regards to haggling, it's nothing compared to those that troll garage sales. There was one asshole who literally touched everything, asked to pay $.50 for most things, and then moved them and put them down somewhere else. Are you kidding me dude?  I got a permit for 2 weekends, and after one day's sale I called Salvation Army to come pick up the rest.
Let's see, what else? Oh! I sold my car.... to my mother.... gawd bless her! I felt a slight hesitation at first, but then thought why would I cut my nose to spite my face? I need to sell it, and she needed a more reliable way to get up and down her Arizona mountain. Win-win...done and done.
Rina and Mark have more than saved my ass and my wallet by graciously loaning me their extra car to drive in Misty Blue's stead. Thank you again you two!!
Once again, blessings!
    I just signed the last lil bit of paperwork for the movers... I'm sorry, the two iPod listening, backwards cap wearing, I-don't-really-give-a-fuck-attitude sporting twenty-nothings they sent me. For almost $3000 (hopefully not more), I'm less than thrilled with their packing skills and will be surprised if my shit shows up in one piece. The company told me they had to re-pack everything for customs. However, I had my stuff packed waaaay more efficiently and safely! I will be PISSED if I am over my estimated weight because of their lackluster job. I have no choice now but to let go of any and all attachment to those things, because the condition in which they show up may be unrecognizable. SERENTIY NOW! It's all a lesson. It's all a lesson. (said while rocking myself and sipping from the Starbucks Coffee Traveler I bought for them)
Whatever. At least my kitchen is now empty and the weight on my shoulders already feels a little less. Basically, my whole apartment is empty except for the air mattress I'm borrowing from Tim. Tomorrow, my carpet is getting cleaned so the list is slowly but surely getting smaller now. Time now to make some soup, then crash out under the covers...
Till next time.... Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Love, Hugs, and other 'Drugs'!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Rover Returns....ahem, The Rov(ah)

     Was my last blog post really in July? Holy split-seconds Batman!! (certified #78 of Robin’s ‘Holy’ references, FYI) Time really flies when your life is in process of getting turned upside down and shaken… but in the best way of course. As of this post, The Rover is back! I am reclaiming my title and once again donning my crown of adventure as they are beginning again.

     Not that this is going to be news to most, but in my mind I’m still writing this thing to more than just the five of you. The BIG move I alluded to in that long ago summer post is now officially official as I received my UK Visa on Monday! The government sanctioned blessing adds that extra official.  And what a blessing it was indeed, because they only took 4 business days to make a decision and say “Meh, yeah she can come.”

       After 7 years, my dream of not only living overseas but specifically in England has come true! On top of that, I get to be with the man I love … TomGong! He has more than lived up to his superhero name by finding and booking Zoe’s and my flight, getting her carrier, AND finding us a sweet spot to call our new home…. all this in only 4 days!! Ggggooonnnggg

Our happy little family will be residing in a 2 bedroom flat in a town called Haywards Heath, a 10 min walk from the train station and just 20 min outside of Brighton. You can see it on the map here:

Here is a little sneak peek:

 The 2 bedrooms and bathroom are down that hall to the left

 Cute right?!

     Zoe and I now have exactly 30 days to get ourselves together, be out of our apartment at the end of the month, and ready to jump the pond on Sunday December 8th via Virgin VS8 at 6:50pm.

I’ve piled the handful of boxes into our kitchen, and I will receive my first moving quote this weekend. Tomorrow Zoe is off to the vet for an updated rabies vaccination and her international health certificate.  I’ve got everything else, desk, bed frame, wardrobe, housewares, etc up for sale. If you need something, I’m probably selling it!

     Since I am still working my day-job through all this, I may not be as social as people would want. I have to put my head down and focus with my limited free time…moving country is a smidge more involved than just moving to another zipcode.

I hate to admit, but my stress level has been more than high… I think we could call it Code Red. Poor TomGong! I love you baby. I’m sorry!

I am excited of course, that goes without saying…. but I wouldn’t say I’m overcome with glee 24/7. Or rather my glee is candy coated in adrenaline and anxiety.  I am equally overwhelmed by gratitude and awe, but also by to-do lists and dollar signs. I know it will all work out, and be fine once I land at Heathrow with my cat, greeted by my man in a brand new country starting a brand new life. I’m just being honest by saying there are moments in this process that are really trying.  I also know that it’s these moments in particular that make this new adventure abso-fuckin-lutely worth it!


       I will be having a going-away get together probably the first week in December, when people are back from Thanksgiving plans. I will keep everyone LA based posted.

I also promise more fun and funny details in future posts, but just wanted to give everyone the general low-down. 

I really can’t believe this is actually happening…. Someone pinch me! I'm gonna be a cool Ameri-Brit hybrid after all ;-)

Love, Hugs, and other 'Drugs'