Far too much with the complications, I say, back with ye foul beast. Balancing plans, cash, work, people, future and introspection is being quite a tricky task.
I’m thinking of going to Belgium with Boris and the Bryght crew, I’d leave the 22nd of February and return the 1st of March. Plane tickets cost around $1000CAD, plus another $600CAD likely to be spent during the trip for maximum freedom. However, I still have to deal with the massive airline crap that has knocked all my financials back a few weeks. So to buy tickets, I have to cash a paycheck, put the lion’s share of it towards the tickets and rent, leaving me with enough money to do things like eat for the next two weeks, unless the bills that need to be paid have magically not been paid due to the aforementioned airline crap depleting my US account and causing bill payments to bounce.
If a bill bounces in the US, I don’t find out about it for one and a half to three weeks, because mail gets sent slowly from the bank, and it arrives slowly across international borders. By the time I get a second letter from the utility or phone, it is usually a final notice requiring me to head directly to the bank to pay it the next day to prevent outages and reconnection fees. This means if the bills did not get paid, most of what is left after tickets and rent will be going into that. I’ve got a tiny bit of savings I can access, but that mentality doesn’t lead to lots of savings.
Now, once I make it to the next paycheck, things should be in the clear, assuming I get vacation pay over the trip, otherwise I will have to be stingy with money once more. If I have to be stingy with money, then the wonderful plans I have for Ally’s visit to this fair city will be be significantly impacted. That trip by the way takes place from the 17th of February until the 21st of February. Yeah, a day in between.
A fair portion of my bills comes out of my US account, so I always need to shove more money into it, less it drop below zero and incur more overdrafts. How much money is in the account, however, is hard to say, as I can only access online banking here, and it only shows me once something goes through, which means little as to what is queued to be charged (credit card bills rarely go through until a few days later). If the magic happens and I get charged before the deposit goes through, then I get beautiful fees and am once again unclear as to how much money is in the account.
It would seem that it then comes down to plans. I have been busy lately, there has been a friend, Will, living at my place for the past couple weeks. He will soon have his own place in east Vancouver and that will probably dampen out some of the continuous activities that have been going on, but there are still a few other sets of friends I try to hang out with at least semi-regularly, making weekends tricky, especially on a budget.
In addition to people, there are the standard bureaucratic trivialities like getting a passport, more precisely organizing an hour and a half between 8am and 12pm to remove all electronic devices from my person, aka be disconnected from everything and everybody around me, and sit on the 20th floor of a cement fortress we call the U.S. Consulate. Don’t forget, they are also massive assholes. Thanks, America.
The solution? Well, don’t go out as much, and don’t go to Belgium.
Ah, but there is wonderful reason to go to Belgium. An open source convention, during which a Drupal convention will be taking place. A beautiful array of interesting developers with whom I can a) network, b) preach the gospel of Sxip and c) learn from for d) the future. As a programmer my future depends on how much I can learn and what projects I can be involved with. Europe is an entire region of the world about which I know little to nothing; if I don’t know what they are up to, I will be missing a large portion of The Big Picture.
Plus, going to Belgium is a great opportunity for Sxip. Zak gives us great presence through his european connections, and if I get a chance to meet these people face to face, I’m certain to at least get them thinking about it. It’s what I do: I code and I network. Me leaving for Belgium also puts a strain on the amount of code work I can do for Sxip, it’s a proportional thing, sadly, at least when mixed in with handling “life.”
With so much going on, I feel like I am losing focus. I’ll start working frantically at finding, creating, or using organization tools and techniques, but I will still always be missing something, forgetting that other thing that is going to monkey wrench the plans.
Oh, for a world where I don’t have to think about money and bureaucracy, where things that needed to be completed could be systematically added to and and removed from a list without a slew of invisible dependencies hanging on every movement. Or maybe a world where I knew what the dependencies were instead of running through life hoping no branches snag my feet. That’s where the introspection comes in, doing things instead of complaining about how difficult it is to do things. Right now, I’m leaning towards dealing with the bruises if I trip and fall rather than watching my step, but that may be the youth talking.