Cruising Day 3: All at sea with Covid tests

Day 3 was our first sea day, as we sailed from Palma de Mallorca to Toulon in France, and we were very happy to have it. The itinerary for this trip had three sea days, which is not many on a 14 day cruise. We were still feeling pretty wiped out – despite the previous evening’s fun – and made the most of our day of no commitments by sleeping until midday, letting our bodies kick more virus butt, and deal with the Moderna booster vaccine.

We did actually wake up early to receive our room service breakfast which we ate, then promptly went back to sleep. The first photograph I have on my phone of this day was at 1:37pm, so we got a good rest!!

Our first port of call after some snacks at the Oceanview Cafe was the Celebrity Theatre, where ‘The Ultimate Boy Band’ was performing a matinee show. We’d enjoyed them so much when we caught the end of their show on Day 1 that we wanted to catch a full show, and fill in some time by doing something other than sleeping or eating.

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Crusing Day 2: Palma de Mallorca, Spain

A few things you don’t want for your first proper vacation day:

  • Being ill
  • A terrible night’s sleep
  • A really early start the next morning

Guess what!

Yes, the morning of Day 2 was a tough one, but let’s be honest … if you’re going to be actually sick and tired, being on a cruise ship docked in Palma de Mallorca is not a bad place to do it!

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Cruising Day 1: The Prologue and Barcelona

You find me on Deck 10 of the Celebrity Constellation, a small plate of fries (for snacking) to my right, along with a Hendricks & Tonic. Behind me, the light grey rock and verdant foliage of Croatian cliffs glide past us as we depart Split, headed for Koper in Slovenia.

It’s Day 12 of 14 of our Western Mediterranean cruise, and I am relaxed. This is the first time I’ve turned this iPad on since we departed Boston – the first time I’ve really used any technology other than to check up on some news and take pictures. It is bliss.

I wanted to start writing about the trip whilst everything was still fresh in my mind, and to create some structure for the epic Photo Sorting that will occur once we get back home. Today we visited the Krka National Park in Croatia – a place so beautiful that my brain still hasn’t fully processed it yet. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First we must go back to the start, and to some bitter complaining.

Iberia Airlines fucking sucks.

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Without a Plan

Much like a dream, the idea for this series of posts was so clear at the time. That time was yesterday, November 27th, at about 6:00PM EST whilst I was in the shower. Also like a dream, the clarity of the idea has faded somewhat in the intervening 19 hours.

However, I’m still here to write it because I feel compelled to. I’m at a point in my life where things are really quite different from what’s gone before in some ways, whilst remaining resolutely, defiantly the same in others. Perhaps I hope that this series of posts will provide me with some stream-of-consciousness-introspection, a kind of ‘Write Your Own Therapy’ exercise. Maybe I’m just a closet narcissist who wants to write more about himself.

Uncertainty is probably the most appropriate feeling as I go into this. As the title says, this is Without a Plan, subtitle TBD. I’ve lived much of my life without what I would consider any concrete plan. I’ve taken opportunities as they arise, certainly missed out on my share too, bounced around the United Kingdom and, latterly, the United States, and questioned myself more times than I care to admit. I’ve experienced truly wonderful moments, and plumbed the depths of depression.

“So what?” you might think, “That describes everybody.”

Perhaps it does, perhaps it doesn’t. One thing I’ve come to realize is that many of us are all broken in our own ways, but that some people really just do Have Their Shit Together in ways that I wish I could, but probably never will.

Anyway, let’s get into it, shall we?

I’m a 35 year old IT Manager, working for a software company in the North East of the United States of America.

Before all of that, I wanted to be a writer.

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American Car Insurance is Bonkers

Almost three years into my “American Adventure” and I still don’t own a car. Quite frankly it didn’t make sense to get one – my girlfriend had one and it was barely used, as we lived in Queens and spent most of our time in the local neighborhood or else in Manhattan.
That decision has proven even more prescient as we now find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, where going out and about is really not well advised.

We do still have one, however, and so there are some procedural things that need to be taken care of. I discovered – to my surprise and honestly slight consternation – that the vehicle was still owned by my partner’s father and insured by him too. This was alien to me, having been the registered owner of my own vehicles from my early 20s, and also kind of a problem – I had no frame of reference of how things worked in this country compared to mine and, as it turned out, neither did she!

The issue was ignored until recently, when we discovered that in order to have the car inspected in Massachusetts, it needed to be registered here. Registering it here required insurance in the state, which had to include the vehicle’s owner … and so a game of pass-the-paperwork was begun to get my partner registered as the owner, in order to get her insured, and then to get the car inspected, as it’s due this month (August).

I ended up shopping for insurance because, despite having no idea how it worked here, I had at least done it for myself before in another country, so technically that made me the more experienced one.

What I discovered was yet more of America’s baffling attempts to appear helpful whilst actually trying to screw over the consumer, and make as much money as possible in the process.

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It’s actually July. WHY JULY TO ME?!

I was in my blog settings looking something up when I discovered my previous un-published post a couple of days ago. Whoops! I’m not quite sure why I didn’t publish it at the time; obviously it’s unfinished but I don’t know why.

Either way, there you go. Not that anybody’s reading these anymore since Facebook disabled the ability to automatically share these things, thus making it entirely useless to me and bringing about my deleting of the account for good. The fact it’s become a data gathering machine for nefarious purposes and an echo chamber for old racist white people might also have had something to do with it.

Anyway, onwards and sideways! That’s right, I’m moving in a diagonal. Not sure what that means, right now it’s a stream of consciousness. You’re welcome.

PS: This is long. Get yourself a strong drink or tranquilizer.

Continue reading “It’s actually July. WHY JULY TO ME?!”

Hey it’s February

Sooo … yeah, obviously it’s not February, it’s almost the end of July. Looks like I wrote this and then bailed on it, but figured I’d post this anyway and then follow it up.

How did that happen?!

My last post was exactly three months ago. I was about to start a new job, and my mind was full of ideas and theories and stratagems about what might need to be done, how I might achieve it, and how I would justify my ideas.
The 2FA/MFA post came out of that and, I’ll admit, it ran on a little longer than I intended. C’est la vie as the French say.

“So what’s been going on in the last three months?!” asked literally nobody.
Well dear phantom reader, I shall tell you, while I sip PG Tips from my mug and persist in trying to shake the odd longing that I’ve had for the past few days to be back in England during Spring.

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iPads and Sleep Deprivation

The skies are blue and clear as we approach the south coast of Wales. It’s 4:30AM Eastern (8:30AM GMT) and I’ve been awake for about 21 hours. Once I land, it’ll be at least another two hours until I can get settled in my AirBnB room and get a few hours of sleep.

So instead, I’m going to talk about the iPad Pro. Continue reading “iPads and Sleep Deprivation”

Nine Months

If, instead of moving to America, I had gotten pregnant instead, I would be having a baby about now.

If, instead of moving to America, I had gotten pregnant instead, I would be having a baby about now.

That’s a patently ridiculous statement – after all I don’t want kids – but it’s interesting to me as a measure of time. My last post on this subject was at the end of December, and it was very much a commentary on the sadness and loneliness that can take hold when relocating from a country that you’ve spent your whole life in.

Thankfully, the nine-month report is a much happier, healthier, and altogether bouncier child (sorry).

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