28 September, 2005

Bitch Slapped

Alright, alright, lesson learned. I have been officially bitch slapped. I made the random, naive and insanely stupid mistake of posting an enthusiastic, Pollyanna type question on a New Zealand web board hoping upon hope that good old fashioned Kiwi's would give me great advice for fitting into my new home. Well, hell hath no fury when you are a web poster scorned. Or some such shit.

I was officially called a Troll because several of these folks actually did not believe that my post was genuine. Which I found odd. Why would I post a question on a New Zealand run webboard if it wasn't a genuine question? Who has that kind of fucking time? My questions was simply: I am moving to Auckland and the world hates Americans, anything I should know before I debark from the plane?

Another lesson: once you post one of these things, you no longer own it. It mushrooms and grows into something that you never intended.

I have been officially smacked down to reality. I have heard so many wonderful things about New Zealand and it's people that I actually *forgot* that assholes live in every country and are not just isolated to New York. I was actually Ernest enough for a moment to allow my Pollyanna to come shining through. Stupid me. Which I guess was a good lesson to learn before I actually got there. Someone once said "you can leave what you want behind but you still look at yourself in the morning". How very true. I can leave a few things behind here in the States that I am looking forward to shedding, but I will always have me. Which was never the reason why I wanted to do this NZ thing in the first place by the way. It was always about adventure. It was always about the opportunity for more. But the one thing I will have to take will me is a small bit of my New York pessimism so I don't get myself in trouble.

And I am now officially Google Group devirginized.

21 September, 2005

The Education System - She's Not So Good

Random conversation with fellow Big Bank Worker leads me to question the intelligence level of my country and the quality of the education presented in this country.

Me: So, moving to New Zealand, blah, blah, blah, blah

Him: New Zealand, is that like near Holland?

Hand to G-d, I swear this conversation took place. Which got me thinking. Enter Diatribe:

The higher education system in the United States is probably the most expensive education in the world. Our education costs continue to rise every year, our University system is ever at war with each other trying to lure the best and the brightest and the standard cost for an education went from $2,000 in 1980 for in-state tuition verses today's $20,000 for in-state tuition. Don't even get me started on private and out-of-state-colleges.

However, I do believe that those that are educated in the United States are not the most well educated in the world. Nor are we even slightly worldly. Personally, I think that the Germans our kicking our ass in education. Consider that my young cousins all under the age of 10 already speak three languages.

Or perhaps this lack of world view has nothing at all to do with our higher education system and everything to do with our elementary education. Get'em while they are young and some stuff might actually stick.

So are we in the United States under-educated? Perhaps the only reason that we continue to be the domineering country is because everyone else is coming here instead of staying there. Do the math. The influx of intelligence workers as immigrants into the United States is staggering. Other countries will continue to educate their community and those individuals will continue to emigrate here.

So, will Americans be able to continue competing in a world market?

20 September, 2005

Update on the Freaking Out, On the Car, On Murphy's Law and On Finding an Apartment... all in one weekend!

Low and behold when the Universe closes a door, it opens a window and then the window comes slamming down on my head and laughs hysterically in my direction. I seriously sometimes believe that my life is one big prank played on by elfin-wood-gnomes who spend their entire day planning on how to FUCK ME UP!

So here is the run down this lovely Monday morning. All is going well so far with the planning of the Visa getting... and get we shall soon need. According to my progressive calendar and the crossing of the fingers my ARSE should be on a plane on October 13th thereby landing it smack in the middle of Auckland by October 15th. This past Friday got the chest x-ray done, this week sorting all of my crap and next week putting in notice to the job.... all is going well, now what I really needs is to finds me an apartment with fun but not schizophrenic people.

The Universe already blessed me with one big fat whammy on Friday, whereby locking me out of my car and leaving me stranded at the hospital where the chest X ray was done. It is a real bitch to be having a great day only to have it screwed when you can't get into your car, when the tow-truck guy that you call can't get into your car, when your cell phone, PDA and laptop are all locked in your car and everyone you know is GONE and no one is around to pick you up help you out or hand you a tissue because your so damn frustrated that instead of taking your shit out on the man in the toll booth because he did nothing and we don't want to be mean, I broke down crying. Big loser that I am. Bawled my eyes out. And the makeup was in the car. So now I am stranded AND I look like shit.

Finally, got home Friday evening to the tune of $290 well spent dollars and one kick ass headache.

Note to self: Carry ALL of your shit with you even if the sign says "no cell phone use allowed".

16 September, 2005




The Big Bad Software company offered me the job and I am moving to New Zealand!

OH MY GOD... this is actually happening.

14 September, 2005

If Patience Is A Virtue, Can I Get Mine In Plaid?

Last night was the appointment for my second reference check to find out if I am a fit for the job at the Big Bad Software Company in Auckland. My friend Sang did the reference for me. Not only is Sang a good friend, but he has been my co-worker for the last two years here at the Big Bank. Sang and I have hung in the technical trenches together and so he knows what I know and further he knows that I get shit done. The other big plus is that Sang likes me as a human being and has been listening to me talk up New Zealand since February. I figured one of two things. Either a) he would do the reference for me because as a good friend he wants to see me succeed or b) he would do the reference for me because he wants me to shut up about New Zealand already. I figure either one is good.

Sang called me last night after the reference was done. He described it to be more like an interview. It was an hour long and the rep from the Big Bad Software Company asked him a million questions; some of which are a bit weird for an American to hear. And I understood that too. I was taken back when the Managing Director whom may end up becoming my boss actually asked me how old I was. As little red flags of American Political Incorrectness are EXPLODING in my brain, I am wondering if I am even ALLOWED to answer that question. If you are not from the States please note, this kind of personal questioning is not only illegal but completely FORBIDDEN in the US.

After I hung up on Sang last night I immediately ran to my computer and logged onto my email account.


And this morning, the first thing I did before a shower and coffee and even brushing my teeth was booting my computer and checking my email.


Not a single feedback type response. Not even a gold star for penmenship. Nothing. Nada. Ziltch. Zero.

Which leaves me counting the clock during my 14 hour work day, counting the minutes to when it would be 8:00 pm my time, which means it's 12:00 pm their time, which means they have had plenty of time to send me an email to tell me they love me and want to make an offer or at least tell me my hair smells nice. INDUCE PANIC, INDUCE PANIC.

I NEED FEEDBACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please, I will take any kind at this point. As long as it is not negative.

13 September, 2005

Notes From a Weekend

This past weekend I had the pleasure of watching my brother’s football team kick another football team’s ass. Good stuff all around. And of course there is the added benefit of watching sweaty football players in their uniforms run around like maniacs on grass and then smell them as they walk by. Hum, bonus! Breathe one for the single sister of the Offensive Coordinator. And for all you football fans, my brother’s runnin’ option this year and I know enough about football to know what that actually means! Go me.

The bigger bonus however is the opportunity to hang with the two coolest men on the planet. They also happen to be the founders and chair of my fan club. Meet Michael and Mason… ages 6 and 3…. My dudes.

The banter and mayhem and unbelievable chaos fraught with much love can only come from a house that holds two hyper testosterone ridden pre-pubescent athletes, a father that is in a constant state of college-dom and a mother who is pregnant, again!

Conversation at the football game:

Michael: “Auntie, watch me. I can spit this skittles really far.”

Me: “Mike, I really don’t want to watch you spit.”

Colleen (brother’s friend): “Aw, come on, you gotta teach the kid skills.”

Me: “Skills, heh, I’ll teach the kid how to do shots when he is 16. With lime AND salt! Now those are skills!”

Colleen: “Don’t forget the hookers.”

Me: “Oh, that’s at 18. See, there is a progression. Tattoos at 13, shots at 16, hookers at 18.”

At this moment of course my sister-in-law walks into the conversation and gives me that look that says “If I die, I am not leaving them to you.”

To which I can only retort: “What! This is what Aunts are for. You’re supposed to raise them and I’m supposed to be morally objectionable!”

Conversation in the car on the LONG ASS ride home from the football game:

Michael: “Auntie, when are you getting married?”

Me: “Um, Auntie’s not getting married for a while bud, okay.”

Michael: “Why?”

Me: “Because Auntie wants to have some fun and not worry about that kind of pressure right now, okay.”

Michael: “But, why?”

2 hours later….the kid still hadn’t found a new theme.

Putting them to bed:

Mason: “No, NO! I want AUNTIE to tuck me in!”

Mason: “No, NO! I want AUNTIE to read me a story!”

When I left:

Mason: “Bye Auntie, I love you, come again soon, PLEEEEEEEASE!”

And that folks, makes it all worth the 4 hour ride to the back ass end of Connecticut!

07 September, 2005

Ignoring My Blog

Actually not ignoring, more like avoiding like the plague. I think about a post every day. I think about what I can add to the world in the way of a funny anecdote or blurb or interesting fact or something that will make my readers smile.

All I got is bitching people. I am so consumed with my pending move to New Zealand. And as of late I would rather be mute because the only thing comin' outta my mouth is frustration.

I know that this is a pattern. I know that this has to happen. You figure out your goal, you specify what you need to do, you diligently work towards that goal, you make progress, you win a few gold stars, you get closer and you keep at this for a while. Somewhere along the way things start to fall apart. Your working as hard as you can but you feel like your beating your head against a wall and getting nowhere. And this is when the frustration kicks in. This is when it starts to become like a tumor and invade the rest of your life. This is when all your waking moments are taken up by "what can I do BETTER, what MORE can I do to achieve what I want?". Thoughts of giving up start to creep in. And you think to yourself "I am a fucking LOSER if I give up now, just because it got hard!". So you keep plugging. You tell your friends that your weekends are kinda screwed for a while because Sunday in the States is Monday in New Zealand and you need to make those contacts.

Then a golden rainbow emerges through the clouds. I had an amazing interview with a recruiter on Thursday and then with the client on Monday. The job is perfect for me. A team lead position doing Quality Assurance for a software company. LOVE the job. And my direct manager sounds like someone I could work for very well. And it's in Auckland. And, and, and....


I could jump through hoops. The only problem is; if they end up not liking me, or not hiring me, or not anything this will be one big huge let down and I will spire once more into despair.

So I will remain calm and normal. Pretend that I am going through the motions of a normal work day. I will remain focused. And I will secretly pray to the Universe to let this happen for me.

And I will look for a flat in Auckland - just in case. :-)