Laurenaissance, The Other Side

The Psychic

I went to see a psychic today this week. And it was wonderful.

Before this experience, I was more skeptic than believer. I felt that if you were having a bad time of it, a $50-100 session with a psychic might be a better investment than a weekly session with a therapist, if all you were looking for was to know that everything would all work out. But other than that, I have never really had much use for knowing what is coming up – as change is constant.

Today changed all of that.

I walked into the storefront feeling good.  Feeling like change is coming into my life. A lot of change. Good change. Necessary change. I have been feeling like life has gotten a bit too small lately, and I want to move on to new challenges, other places, find different people. I have been feeling like I want to add more of me into the world, and that is certainly a new feeling.

And here is what came up in the reading:



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Before we even started the spread, the card at the bottom of the deck (and apparently this is important) was the Wheel of Fortune. Didn’t I tell you that change was coming into my life. This is the card that makes things happen.  Change!  And then she (lets call her H) started laying cards down, and making really encouraging sounds.  And when she finished dealing (that’s what you call it, right?) she said – “this is really exciting”.  Cue the goosebumps!  I love it when people are excited!  Before I tell you about the cards – let me just say, that I felt like someone was standing behind me yelling “yes!” while pumping their fist into the air.  This is how positive that morning was for me.

First card “H” pulls is The Empress (thats me)- she is in reverse.  Which means there is some dissatisfaction. And that is the truth. I am ready to move to more creative pursuits.  I have dreams of opening my own shop – and I am scared. But the next card is the Knight of Wands – a man who knows what he wants, and he gets it.  A man who is dynamic, and is smart, and is driven, and who is going to take that journey with me.  I know this man – and he is a great influence in my life.  All of this is true.

Moving on, she flips over the Fool. The only card in the entire deck that worries me.  It worries me, because I don’t understand it. Before this week – I thought it was a reflection of who I am, someone that can’t be taken seriously.  A joke.  A flake of some sort. But its not true. The fool represents unlimited potential. It multiplies the effects of everything else by 10.  I was told that this is the card of blind faith. Of trust. To go with my gut – and believe in what I am doing. And now that I have had a few days to think about it, this may be the most powerful card of all, for me. Because what I have never done is trust in anyone, let alone myself. The time is now.

The Fool was paired with the six of pentacles. Which could mean that the creative endeavour could mean less money, especially in the getting started years.  But that less money does not mean less happiness. This is already a lesson I have learned in my life, it does not worry me. If the Knight decides to stick around – then I have nothing to worry about.

Next comes the Emperor – in this position, he is seen as a mentor. An older male – someone who believes in structure.  I have a mentor, he believes more in flexibility than structure – but he has his moments. He deserves a phone call about everything that has been going on (including this reading).  The card paired with it, is the 8 of wands.  This means travel.  And a relocation.  For work, for love, for life. Knight of Wands are you listening?

Which transitions into the next two cards, the two of wands- meaning travel, enthusiasm, inspiration; and the three of pentacles – entering into an agreement with someone, a partnership.  This tells us that the possibility for an overseas relocation could very well go hand in hand with a new job.  A more creative job. Less structure, more creation.  Maybe this will let me be the fully realized artist that I desperately want to become (and by fully realized, I just mean full time).

So far so good, its pretty much everything I want to happen. And then Hailey moves onto the last two cards.  The nine of cups – the wish fulfillment card. All of my dreams are coming true. The happily ever after that I have dreamed of my entire life is possible.  And so what is the final card – the only card that could come after a card like that. The Lovers.  Apparently the happily ever after comes with the Knight of Wands.

The really interesting thing that happened was after the major reading. She chose 4 additional cards – you can see them in the photos (they are the small cards), and two of the cards she chose had already appeared in the reading, the wheel of fortune, and the two of wands. Basically solidifying the fact that change is indeed coming – and there are faraway places to visit in my future.

So there you have it folks, my future. It looks to be a great one.


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, travel

Jetlag: A Variant of Depression


I have been home for 4 days now, and I feel awful. Each day is worse than the last. What I am experiencing is not so much jet lag per se, but more like some combination of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome + Depression.  I sleep at weird hours, and when I am awake I am basically a zombie. I can’t stand sunlight right now, so I have been wearing sunglasses inside, for the entire 40 minutes of sunshine we have had since I got back.  My lessons yesterday were unfocused and scattered. Could it be that I am just missing Europe?  Yes, that is definitely part of it.  But I am not even interested in doing things that I missed when I was over there. Walking the trails – no interest. Reading books – no interest.  Talking to my friends – can barely stay awake. Seeing friends for tonight’s Super Bowl – no thank you. What do I want to do?  Sleep, eat artichoke hearts right out of the jar, drink lemonade, and watch back to back episodes of Doctor Who and Rita on netflix.

I have never really suffered from jet lag before – and so this is my first real experience with it. Usually I don’t give myself time to recover. And this trip, I gave myself 4 days of rest before heading back to work. This could very well be my problem. I feel like a loser complaining – such a privileged white girl going on and on about her recovery time after a trip to Europe. But there you have it. I’m a mess right now – and I don’t see it improving anytime soon. Despite the fact that I am totally inspired and ready to embrace some change. I just can’t seem to get out of bed, or dressed, or ready to face the day.

For now, I am just going to let the pile of bricks that have fallen on top of me win this round.





travel, Uncategorized

Just a Usual Day in a Unusual Place


One of the reasons (not the best reason – but may be the most important reason) that I am grateful for having a friend show me around the city of Vienna, is to help me navigate the signage for the washroom situation.  I have yet to come across the (what I thought was) international signs for the ladies or mens or trans welcome signs that we are accustomed in North America.  The photo above demonstrates the signage for the washrooms at the Cafe Korb.  Looking at them now, it seems a bit obvious. But when encountering them for the first time – I had no idea that what I was searching for was located behind the door on the right. It’s little things like this, where I am grateful that I have someone to explain these idiosyncrasies. By the way, the coffee is good here at Cafe Korb.  And despite the offbeat signage, I can see myself returning, as the patrons of this cafe look to be an interesting sort. And while I am not one for conversing with strangers, I can imagine having great discussions about art, philosophy, literature, and world events with these people.

Now that I have this out of the way, let me run down through the rest of my day.

An organ concert by Mario Eritreo at St Peters Church, where the program consisted of:

Canon in D -Dur – Johann Pachelbel
Sonata VI, op.65 Nr 6, in d-moll – Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy*
La Ballo dell’intorcia – Antonio Valente
Toccata in F-Dur, aus der Symphonie Op 47, Nr 21 – Charles-Marie Widor
Andante fur eine Walze in eine kleine Orgel KV 616 – WA Mozart
Toccata und Fugue in d-moll, BWV 565 -JS Bach

I don’t usually listen to organ concerts – but I won’t pass up a free concert. This concert reminded me that I usually feel awake and like my spirit is clean after such an experience.  So I will have to make an effort to spend a lot more time going to organ and choral concerts, when I get back home.

After the concert we went to the 12 Apostles Cellar, for a bite and a beer. My first taste of beer in Austria. The beer was flavourful, the goulash soup delicious and comforting, and the ambiance medieval and generally awesome. The surly waiter added to the charm.  I especially loved the apostle lamp posts, and the potatoes.


Two saintly events in one day, is a bit much for me. We ended the day at the movies, where we saw the latest Matt Damon movie, “Downsizing”. I’m not going to say much about it since I am still processing.  I am not a movie reviewer by any stretch of the imagination, but I’d like to say that this movie is making me examine my role in the world.

Signing off from Vienna,

*I did take a video excerpt of the concert (and of the interior of the church) but I am unable to upload it right now, so it will have to wait until I get home.


Cat and Mouse


My first exposures to Austria were through classical music, The Sound of Music, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. All fairly important influences in my life (Arnold not so much), but classical music definitely has been (though not strictly Austrian), and I always dreamed of becoming someone like the Baroness von Schraeder (complete with a pet/sidekick named Max). However, when I saw the movie The Third Man when I was about 19, the darkness of Vienna called to me.  The city became real. Prior to  watching this film, Vienna was a bit of a fairy world. A place lost in time. Mozart writing operas during the Age of Enlightenment, Beethoven stressing over the moral collapse of Napolean, Captain Von Trapp and his seven children singing Edelweiss before escaping to Switzerland (by the way that didn’t happen). Vienna was a place of colour, music, philosophy, fabric, art and a thousand other things – but they didn’t feel real to me. Even now, I am in Vienna and thinking about that, the city doesn’t seem real.  The film, The Third Man showed the seedy underbelly of life in a Post War Austria. A place where the black market still existed, where people died in order for others to make money, where stories were based on half-truths or less. This was the Vienna I wanted to see. And today, I got to see just that.

We lucked out and got a private walking tour of Vienna through the eyes of Harry Lime and Holly Martins courtesy of Kersten at Vienna Walks + Talks. We learned  all (not all because its only a 2 hr tour) about the history of Vienna, the shooting locations, some gossip about the scandalous behaviour of the cast, the way the sewer system works, how Austria is a neutral city – but that being neutral comes at a cost, and I learned a new term for a meat dish, “roof rabbits” – which I will now use whenever I go to a restaurant in Chinatown in Vancouver, when I suspect the dish is a bit of a mystery.

The architecture is so grand (even the sewer kiosks are kind of tricked out), everywhere you look the buildings are bigger and more ornate, add in the fact that less than a century ago, this city was bombed to near rubble – it’s gobsmacking!  How inelegant to say such a thing. But I can’t think of a more appropriate word to describe how I am feeling.

I’d like to give a big shout out to our tour guide Kersten – she was so excellent, filled with pertinent information about the history of the city, and is a great storyteller to boot. We were so lucky to get a few hours with her – and will try to book another tour with her again before I leave.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go have a cup of tea, and listen to Anton Karas play the zither.


Something Always Goes Wrong


When I travel, I prepare a lot. I make lists, I check them 10 times, I pack, and then repack, and then reassess what I actually need, and then repack about 3 more times.  I take a carry on and a purse only.  It doesn’t matter for how long I plan on being away.  I will only take one bag (non-checked). Unless of course, I decide to play concerts around the world – and then Im hooped.  But for now, one bag only.

It doesn’t matter how well I prepare though, something always goes wrong.  I once moved 3 provinces away, and packed my plane tickets in my moving boxes, which were sent ahead of me flying out.  I have dropped my passport along with the rest of my ID on a flight to a friend’s wedding – with no identification to get back home.  I have lost luggage (technically not my fault) – and I usually spend  2 hrs or more in customs being interrogated for what, I have no idea why.  But it happens just about every time I fly internationally. And every time I have checked a bag.

Today, my replacement credit card came in the mail.  Yippee!  Except I can’t remember the pin number, and the credit card company will send it to me in 10 days time, via the post.  Arghh!  I take my card to the bank – but they won’t assign me a new pin. I have another card- but I never use it. Will only use in emergencies – like if my brother’s head falls off – and I have to bribe someone to donate their head as a replacement.  Then I would consider using this card.

Ah budget traveling.  Its going to be fun!

*The photo really has nothing to do with this post – except that I am going to Vienna and really want to ride the ferris wheel.  Photo source  – Laraine Batemen via flickr


travel, Uncategorized

Counting Down


I don’t travel enough to have the packing situation down. I’m a one carry-on bag kind of girl. if you have ever traveled with me, you know that I have issues when it comes to checking luggage, customs always gets involved, and its a nightmare.  I blame the fact that my last name is Bzowy. So I bypass the problem entirely, and only pack what fits into a Filson duffle bag.  I basically look like I am a construction worker (I’m fairly sure this stuff is made from carhartt work pants), but it meets the requirements of a carry on bag, and I can pack enough stuff for 2 weeks abroad.  Also, I don’t think this bag will ever wear out.  So Im happy.  No need to be stylish – if its going in an overhead compartment anyway.

I just wish I had a cat to tell me what to pack for 2 weeks away.  Im trying to pare things down. I’d like to leave a little room in my bag to bring home some trinkets – so far that isn’t happening.

What do you always pack, but never use?  I could use some ideas on what to unpack.

*Kiki’s Delivery Service image from Pinterest.

Style, Uncategorized

Because I’m Really A 90’s Girl

Do you ever notice that the shoes you wear can completely change the way you walk.  For the most part, I skulk around wearing purple moccasins.  And I shuffle along feeling invisible.  And I don’t mind that so much.  When I get exercise I have bright pink running shoes-  but those are mostly so I can be seen in the dark- and I don’t think about how I am moving, just as long as I am moving.  But this morning, I went out for a 5am walk, wearing the Doc Marten boots I will be taking to Vienna in a couple of weeks.

Here’s the thing about wearing these boots – I walk with purpose. I feel like I could seriously kick someone’s ass.  And those who know me well, know that I would never do that.  But I do love feeling like I can.  I haven’t worn Docs since I left the 90s behind, but putting them on again (albeit a way more grown up style), makes me feel like I have some swagger.

It’s funny that a pair of shoes can do that.  It’s not like they are stilettos or really expensive shoes. But the way they make me feel is youthful, that I can get things done, and that I am on an adventure.  That the world is mine to discover.

And I haven’t felt like that since 1999.

*The shoes I am wearing are Dr. Martens Flora Ankle Boot in Cherry Red Arcadia (Chelsea Boots).

PS. Now if I could just find Hush Puppies mules in powder blue suede, I would be so happy with my shoe collection (for a little while).