Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Home, Sick Home

Hey, everyone...I'm back from my month-long voyage to the Southern Hemisphere shores of New Zealand. Just as I was getting used to the sunshine, fresh food, travels from one neat place to the next and the long summer days, I had to return back to this endless winter of the Nothern Hemisphere.

Boo. Back to life, back to reality.

Oh, but wait. I returned to find that my reality and life has been suddenly altered.

First of all, I must disclose that before I left for New Zealand I lost my driver's license. That was what the whole "in a police station at 3AM" thing was all about. It was due to a DUI - naughty, naughty. Because I was so compliant and close to being under the limit, the cop didn't fine me or charge me with anything and for that I am VERY grateful. But he still took away my license for three months.

In New Zealand I managed to put that all out of my head - didn't give it one ounce of thought. Until I was on the plane home and realized, oh crap, how the hell am I going to get to work? My work is a hefty 45-60 minute commute when driving. By our terrible public transit system it would be two hours! Each way! There goes my life.

Even when I thought I could enlist friends and my bf to pick me up (getting there in the morning is easier than the other way around) I was still filled with guilt and a whole bunch of hassle.

Regardless, this was my punishment, which I deserved, so I sucked it up and went in to work on Monday (after arriving only the day before).

The hellish commute by bus, skytrain, bus and walking was soon just a small memory when I arrived at the office.

Within the hour, my boss had secretly informed me that HR was planning to lay me off on January 4th. Apparently there was a lot of money lost in the company over the last month and many, many layoffs (not to mention one of our accountants had a stroke because he was overworked). I was to be one of them - she just wanted to give me the heads up now. A few days before Xmas. Yay.

But luckily my boss is eager to help me find a new job and until January 4th, I am welcome to work at home for the next two weeks. And by work, I mean do nothing. Because there is no work for me! Or my boss - she's looking for jobs too. Our positions have become redundant thanks to the company merger.

So I guess the bad news is that I lost my license and my job.

If I wanted to be a negative person and cry and bitch and moan about it and how unfair life is, I could. But I won't. Because I think change can bring blessings and though I am to be jobless, I have never been filled with such PEACE.

I get EI (welfare) at the highest amount for at least 6 months, or until I find a job. And I have no doubt that I will find a job that I will like and that will challenge me. I get time now...time and freedom, the two things I crave most in my life. My apartment is being rented so I don't have to worry about paying my mortgage. I don't have to pay car insurance or gas, so I save money there. And I know I'll be shedding the 8 pounds I've gained thanks to the fact that I will have to walk everywhere - plus NOW I actually HAVE time to just exercise all day.

I'll also have time to start re-writing my novel (now that my editor has marked it up for me - exciting!) and start writing the next one in the series. Plus maybe write another script, read more books and just enjoy my new time and freedom.

All while searching for a great new job (or even an OK new job, so as long as the pay is OK and it's accessible by public transport).

I might even be flying off to Palm Springs next month to visit my parents! Why not?

Anyway, that's how I am viewing this whole experience. You can either shrink from it or embrace it. I know and believe everything happens for a reason and the fact that I have a whole new year - 2010 - full of amazing opportunities, is a reason for joy!

OK, now enough about reality and how about some New Zealand photos? I have so many so you can bet your bippy that the next month will just be full of them, so I'll start off with something rather simple...Vampires and Strippers.

Crazy Twilight Lovers - feel free to stop reading this now. In fact, please do. I'm the only person alive (almost) that does NOT understand the appeal of this fad so please don't take this personally (you'll be surprised how hurt people get when you say you don't like it and then give your reasons. Different strokes for different folks, Twi-hards. I mean, I just went on a tour in NZ in which I got to dress up - in costume - like Lord of the Rings characters and renact scenes...and I loved it! But I don't take offence when someone calls me a giant nerd. Cuz I am!)

I DO understand the whole book thing. I like shitty authors too (Dan Brown, anyone?) so I am obviously no literary snob - I read Archie comics still ha ha. And despite the fact that Meyer's writing is...well...BAD ("he smiled a charming smile" - she used smile twice in one sentence!!!) she does have a very good concept and I guess the orginal BOOK characters are all right. So while vampire books (or anything) in general are not my cup of tea, I can see why people like the actual book series. Fair enough. That's as diplomatic about this as I can get...and I'm really biting my tongue here, mostly because I fear most of my reader's like this stuff.

But the films? THE FILMS! MY GOD! I was forced by Wife Kiwi to watch the first film within a few days of arriving. Actually she forced both her husband and I - she's a fan of the books but thinks the movie is garbage.

We turned it into a drinking game...everytime you see Robert Patterson look like he regrets being in this film, you drink! It happens a lot! Anyway, in the end, we laughed and laughed and laughed and I actually really enjoyed watching and making fun of that film. Time well spent.

Then when Kiwi's two other bridesmaids arrived in New Zealand, we decided to go see New Moon. Oh the hilarity. First of all, Kiwi and bridesmaid T have read and liked the books. Me and Bridesmaid Rangitoto had not and did not. But we all agreed that the movies should have been shown on Mystery Science Theatre.

So during the day, we all wore TEAM EDWARD and TEAM JACOB and TEAM PATTON (as one Fantomas fan asked "Team Patton? Like Mike Patton? Or General Patton?") to the movies, filled our concession cups with a half litre of vodka, went in the theatre (which was almost empty, thank God) and proceeded to watch.

Theatre Conduct FAIL

SO MUCH LEGROOM - to put your feet up on the chair in front of you, you had to lie there half off of the seat!

OK, that's it, let's get out here

Before the Film...full of hope:

After the film...WTF??? It hurts our brains!!

Redoing a scene...WHY ARE THEY ALL WEARING RED!!??

We started laughing at the credits and didn't stop laughing until that "cliffhanger" of an ending. The movie was bad. The acting was TERRIBLE...only that sexy, underage wolfman had any talent. Kiwi and bridesmaid T are ACTUAL actors so they know the difference between good acting and...Kirsten Stewart. The direction was horrid. The dialogue...omg, don't get me started. It was just SO bad it was good. In the end I must say we were all entertained the whole way through. Not in the way the filmmaker intended, but still. Thumbs up for a lot of fun for me and the crew.

Luckily the other people in the theatre also laughed through the film (like when Edward took his shirt off...BAHAHAHA. Who on EARTH would find an emo, glittering, pasty, chalky, skinny guy sexy after watching that buff, cute native guy for most of the film???), so we didn't get kicked out.

The homemade shirts came in hand later when we were summoned for Kiwi's stagette party. First she had a night out with just us girls, then her workmates had a party for her with one hot stripper.

Us bridesmaids were instructed to wear white, while Kiwi was in black and the rest were in Camo. And so, we were the medics, she was going to the "dark side" and her co-workers were the army sent to save her from marriage with the help of Sgt. Hottie.


Stagette Night #1

The Mission


Vegas Princess said...

I must say that stripper is fabulous and your pictures put a smiel on my face. Why couldn't you have sent me one of him before you left NZ? :)

Sounds like you had a blast and this is only the first post! Can't wait to hear more. Oh and not everyone likes Twilight. We can't all ike the same things I always say.

I am glad you have a positive attitude about your job. This can be a greta opportunity for you so you should embrace it!

Glad to have you back! You were missed. :)

Maddy said...

Sounds like an awesome time! Especially that stripper (yum!)

It seems to me that all your stars were aligning for big changes in 2010. You're right to see this as an opportunity and not a tragedy. Good Luck with everything & enjoy the holidays!

daisychain said...

welcome back! I can't believe how fast the time went.

I love you and your positive attitude <3

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have followed your blog on and off for several years and have enjoyed many of your entries. My suggestion would be to at least consider not drinking alcohol at all. I know you have done this at times. And I know it can be really hard for a person to stop entirely, especially when one's friends drink. And I realize that, in moderation, it is certainly not illegal. And the instinctive response might be, no way, I like it too much and don't want to stop. I guess if it is just an occasional drink, that is not a big deal. But a person has decide whether that is all it will be or can be, an occasional drink, or whether drinking at all means drinking every day or almost every day. A person I guess has to take a hard look at whether the alcohol really is adding anything substantial to life, or if it is detracting AT ALL from a person's important goals, whatever they may be. And this can be subtle, that is, the negative impact from drinking can be subtle but still real. If that truly is not the case, then drinking may not be a problem. However, if there is a negative impact, I guess that is when a person might want to take a hard look at whether drinking alcohol makes sense. No judgments at all here. I don't know the answer to any of these questions as they apply to anyone other than me, except maybe my close friends. I just am wishing you all the best. Andy

Escapist said...

All the pictures are good...i liked the dog tag hanging...


Eyeliah said...

oh me oh my goodness! welcome home Karina. :)

Wanderlusting said...

HI ANDY - Thanks for your concern. I can't really tell if you are "concerned" or just being patronizing. It was a pretty long lecture, if you ask me, and very uncalled for and out of context.

I always thought I could have a couple drinks and still drive - I've been doing it for awhile, like a lot of people *GASP*

Sometimes you can have TWO Drinks and be OVER the limit, especially if you are a small woman and especially if you haven't eaten...or who knows what else is going on.

The lesson learned here is that now I can't even risk having ONE drink and driving...I don't know what my metabolism will do with it and SINCE I was let off very easily (accprding to the cop), I wouldn't jeopardize it in the future.

I hope people learn from my example...most people I know have either been busted for this once or even several times, many MANY people I know constantly drive drunk.

Getting your driver's license taken away for a short period is the least of their consequences, but I hope they can learn from me nonetheless.

You know, I debated whether telling my blogger "friends" whether I got this DUI or not - thinking someone out there was bound to lecture me.

If you want to tell me off for drinking and driving, go right ahead. I deserve it and that's why I blogged about it. It happens to a lot of people and it shouldn't happen at all. I hope people learn from this. I have.

But please don't pretend that you are concerned for me when in reality you don't know a single thing about my private life. You couldn't be farther from the truth. And yes, I am defensive because it's frustrating when people take the things you blog about and try to twist it into something else.

Lecture me about what I've written but don't go reaching into my private life.

Sarah2 said...

Luuurve that ombre dress!!! I think I saw it at forever21 ages ago and wanted it!

Your honesty and attitde is very refreshing, I think I would be freaking out if I was in your shoes lol expecially about the job!

Sometimes people cant help but think they know something about you when you blog even thou you dont blog about personal stuff as much as others. But as someone whose husband was recently under a 24 hour suspension after a xmas party last week, I think its pretty ridiculous for someone to say you need to give up drinking just because of one DUI. it happens to a lot of people, including my sheepish hubbie!

If you got lots of DUIs or if you got in an accident or worse then yes but everyone makes mistakes and like you my husband will no longer take chances after a few drinks!

Im sorry all this shit happened but dont worry you wont be getting any lectures from me in this tough situation. im just awed by your attitude! Don't let the man get you down! =D


PS lookin forward to future pics! New zealand is still on my must see list!

Wanderlusting said...

Andy - and if you really were "concerned" about me, why didn't you send me an email instead of trying to get "personal" in my comments section? Exactly.

Sarah - it is Forever 21 but I actually bought it on Ebay since I couldn't find it in the stores anymore.

Couture Carrie said...

Hi darling! I missed you too! You are looking as fabulous as ever!

Sorry about the license bit...

Happy Holidays, love!


Kristin said...

Your positive attitude is infectious lady. Our family too is facing some challenges...but 2010 is gonna be our year right? Looks like you had a killer time in kiwi land!

Panty Buns said...

What a long, fascinating post. The photos are beautiful. I've never been to New Zealand, but it looks beautiful. You and your friends look like you have a lot of fun together. I'll have to re-read it a few more times because you cram so much information in there. Loved the expressions of WTF. Hope you have your license back or do soon, but remember to have someone sober drive from now on? (not meaning to lecture). Oh, never mind. Just read your comments in response to Andy :-) Great blog. Discovered you via Couture Carrie and will now follow your descriptive adventures in this blog :-)

Wanderlusting said...

Panty Buns! Love the name and happy to have a new reader...don't worry about the DUI lecture, that's fine and as I noted in my response to Andy, there's no way I can even risk one drink and driving. You may think you are sober but that the law tells you you're not. Buzzed driving is drunk driving, as the ad says.

My temporary loss of license is the least of problems at the moment though. I mean how can I afford gas to drive if I don't have an income, anyway?

J-Diggety said...

First off, I've missed your face. Seriously.

Secondly, can we pleeeeeease hang out??? Dude, I think you and I would have a rockin' adventurous mischevious good time. Your movie review and associated pics had me on the floor. OMG, I die!

And sister, kudos to bitch-slapping life right back... it can't get fierce ladies like us down!!

xoxo J

M said...

oh my god I laughed so hard all the way through New Moon, it was hilarious!! What was with all that shirtlessness?!?!

J-ezzy said...

Wow, you are frikkin hilarious, hun! You're positive attitude is infectious!!! Sorry about the DUI, I know plenty of people who've driven so drunk they forgot how they got home and they NEVER were arrested or given a suspension, however they've been pulled over and given a "warning", shoot, with my luck, I'd be arrested before I put my key in the ignition! I am always the desi simply b/c I'm scared sh*tless of jail (it's a night or 3 if it's Fri night of JAIL TIME). DC has a no tolerance level law.

All I know is you came out learning something, you have a chance at new beginnings and it'll be great!

Missed you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Karina. I will try to keep this short. I apologize. It was not my intent to lecture. Or patronize. Truly. Nor did I think I was discussing any details from your personal life. What I tried to do was make a suggestion for your consideration. And what I wanted to do after that was just make some general observations, which I tried, but apparently failed, to make clear may not apply to you. I read your responses as indicating that alcohol does not negatively impact the pursuit of your goals. Okay, end of discussion. Truly. I do realize that with the internet it sometimes can be very difficult to get a sense of a person's intentions and sincerity. I was aware of that as I typed that post and tried to choose my words carefully because I am not at all a mean person. Again, my sincere apologies. I should have just said nothing. Andy

Wanderlusting said...

Andy - no problem. Going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment so you can understand my response.

OceanDreams said...

So sorry about you losing your license and your job - hope you find a new one soon! Ha ha, these pics crack me up. I too like the books more than the movies even though I thought the movies were alright.

Glad you had a great time in New Zealand!

The Budget Babe said...

happy holidays babe! glad to have you back. this post just reminded me why i missed you :)

Fashion Court said...

sorry to hear about the job/license...glad you had a great time on vacation though and also glad to see you back! hope you had a great holiday

MissNeira said...

Love that shirt! and thats hilarious! not really big on the fad either, but I do enjoy the true blood books by harris

happy belated bday!
and Its good you're turning that faux pas into a negative!
another experience to write about!

Glitter Scrubs said...

Holy smokes you'd think by some of the comments you were serving sidewalk to sidewalk. Roadblocks catch that buzz we've ALL had :(. And geeze if I stopped doing things I made one little mistake on forever then I might as well lock myself in my room lol.

Anyway, onto more important things now like those stripper pics. haha.
PS: I love your upbeat spirit and your ability to kick life in the balls when it hands you lemons. Seriously so inspirational. Can't wait to hear more about your trip!

almost famous kiwi said...


Alice said...

wow. that is one fine-looking stripper. :-)

ugh, the DUI and the job situation are huge bummers... but like you said, both could totally be worse so good for you for not letting them get you too down! and haha, i agree that maybe we could all cut back on drinking and driving, but i don't know if that means we all have to stop drinking forever.. ;-)