Categories
Boston London NYC Random Musings Relocation Technology Travel Without a Plan Work

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.

Categories
Boston Cars Finance Travel US vs UK

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.

Categories
Boston NYC Relocation Travel Work

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.

Categories
NYC Random Musings Travel Work

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.

Categories
London Relocation Travel US vs UK Work

How ‘bout that Embassy?

Two years. Two Embassies. Two Visas. (Hopefully.)

Categories
Flying Technology Travel Uncategorized

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.

Categories
London NYC Random Musings Relocation Travel US vs UK Work

Nine Months

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).

Categories
London NYC Random Musings Relocation Travel US vs UK

Homesickness

It’s that time. Time to talk about the Big H. No, not Harvey Weinstein, the other thing. Homesickness.

A few months ago I dumped a bunch of potential titles for posts into my Drafts folder to remind me what I had ideas about. One title was simply Homesickness, and AJ said “Well, you can’t write about that yet, because you haven’t gotten over it.”

I think I’ve been truly homesick just once before, back in September 2003 (or was it October?) when my family drove me the three hours from Wales to Manchester, and dumped me there. I remember feeling a profound sense of loss that day when they drove away, leaving me living on my own for the first time ever. This experience has been wholly different, for obvious reasons.

Categories
Relocation Travel

Negative Nancy

I recently mused that if I carried on complaining about things in New York / America I’d earn myself a Grumpy Old Man badge, and then had a friend tell me that I sound frustrated or angry all the time.

Whilst it’s fair to say that a healthy percentage of my content has been more critical in tone, I feel it would be remiss of me to not point out the following (some would say obvious) fact: moving countries is hard work.

This blog was always intended to cover the trials and tribulations involved in uprooting ones entire life and moving it three and a half thousand miles across the ocean and, guess what, there are many vexatious things about a country in which you haven’t spent your entire life!

Categories
Travel Work

Timehop: Paris

I reinstalled Timehop just over a year ago; the infamous app that lets you relive past triumphs, miseries, and WTFs all in one handy place on your phone.

It recently reminded me that it had been two years since we opened our office in Paris – it’s gone now, replaced by the acquisition – and I felt like doing some rambling reminiscing on the matter.

IMG_2883-EFFECTS.jpg