Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What friends are for

Encouraging. Holding your hand. Telling you that you can do it. Not blaming you when their car explodes!

It's been brought home to me even more sharply this week just how great my friends are. Whether they're far away or near, in touch with me daily, weekly or just every few months, blood or just "as good as" blood. Every time I've told someone new about The Big News, I've gotten only positive affirmations and expressions of support. Not to say there haven't been some jaws hitting the floor, but not one person has pooh poohed my decision or told me I'm crazy. Quite the opposite, I've gotten offers to help me pack, to sit with me while I'm sorting through crap I should have thrown out long ago, to send me care packages once I move, to come out and visit me once I'm there (I've gotten LOTS of those!), and to help me build up my tolerance by trying out various Irish pubs in the area (a friend's gotta do what a friend's gotta do, right?). That's not including the especially longsuffering friend who willingly got into her own car, admittedly one on it's last legs and not in use, to teach me how to drive a stick shift. She was kind enough to tell me I did quite well for a first-timer, even after the poor car started smoking and giving up the ghost! :-)

So tell me, who could ask for better friends?!

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I'm in absolute shock! No, more than that, I'm totally flabbergasted!! When I opened my mailbox tonight, what should I see but an envelope from the U.S. Department of Justice. Now, at any other point in my life, such a sight would have turned my bowels to water. But, given the surreal situation I now find myself in, I instead found myself laughing with joy! Weird, huh?

So, why all the excitement? My FBI police clearance came in! After only 2 weeks!!! That's just almost inconceivable. Why am I so shocked? Well, the FBI website says the process takes 16-18 weeks! I was sure this was going to be the big hold up in the whole process. In my hope of finding some more reassuring information than that, I'd spent at least a couple of hours surfing various websites and discussion forums from all over the world. The best news I read was a single individual who said she'd gotten hers back in 3 weeks. I took that to be a futile hope. Most sites' predictions fell in the 6-8 week category, with a few saying 4-6 weeks if you made sure to request expedited processing. Well I did that, but the quickest I dared ask for was for a 4 week processing time. Well, for once a government bureaucracy has exceeded my expectations in a positive way!

Of course, as if to contradict this amazing news, I also got some not so happy news from the recruiter today. My application for Irish validation of my professional qualifications is going to take longer than I'd hoped. Apparently, I got the application in just a leetle too late to be reviewed at their March meeting, so it's going to have to wait till the April review date. Bummer.

Oh well, I'm still stoked about the FBI's shocking user friendliness. Plus, I got my pre-employment physical today and everything went well. Apparently, I'm "normal" in every way that counts and thus "fit for duty" :-)

So, what all this means is that I've done my piece. Now it's all up to the recruiter (to check my references) and the Irish government (professional validation and work visa). Sigh. I hate not having control.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Biting my nails

Yippee! I got the job!! Now, for the terrifying part - actually making the move to Ireland.

Now that I've submitted my acceptance to my new job and started telling friends and family that I'm definitely making the move (most say they admire my adventurousness, but I know a couple just think I'm crazy), my stomach has begun tying itself into major, horsepill sized knots! So many decisions to make: do I rent or sell my wonderful little townhouse? What do I do about my car lease? Am I going to run out of money before I get there? Will I be able to find a good, nondenominational church to join? But, those are the big (i.e., "grownup") questions. Maybe just as important - how do I keep up with my favorite TV shows (Grey's Anatomy, Lost, Battlestar Galactica) without paying an arm and a leg for iTunes downloads, and are there any hairdressers in Ireland who actually know how to do black hair?!

So far I haven't found any answers for the latter questions, but I have found a great website with answers about a lot of the nitty gritty, practical questions I wouldn't have a clue about. You have to pay a fee ($40) to join the full version site, but I think it was worth it - check it out here