Is there such a thing as a reading injury?

Asking for a friend. And that friend is my shoulder, because somehow, even though I've done nothing particularly physical since hurting my back during a 95lb clean and jerk the day before I was supposed to fly to Cambodia, my right rotator cuff is acting like it's been stabbed with a rough chunk of splintered wood. 

The only thing I can reasonably blame this phenomena on is Canada and extensive Canadian reading sessions thanks to the 800 page novel A Little Life. As much as I would love to break into my own musical rendition of "Blame Canada," mostly because it's been far too long since I incorporated jazz hands into a conversation, Canada is pretty much saving my ass right now. Although, I think Americans have lost the right to poke fun at Canada given all the F.O.U.F that comes with trying to make America great again. Also, aggressive jazz hands are not good for a bum rotator cuff caused by marathon reading sessions of the world's most beautiful book. 

 

Malaysian ringgits are the best bookmark. 

Malaysian ringgits are the best bookmark. 

You see, I'm currently a Canadian refugee, and I haven't had much to do other than wander around Vancouver's tree lined streets, eat Asian food, and read. As part of my global walkabout, I've filed taxes in the U.S. under the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (aka FEIE), which basically means I don't live in the United States right now. I have to stay out of the country for 330 days within a calendar year, because at 329 days I suddenly suck up all the resources and Uncle Sam is like, "you better pay for all the roads and schools and Trump's flights to Mar a Lago. " 

After taking a little mom & daughter side trip to Hawaii and re-arranging my travel schedule so I could spent a little more time at home, I cut into my 35 day in-country limit. I was all set to hop on a plane and start my new life in Cambodia when the day before I was supposed to fly to Asia, I dramatically hurt my back at the gym (I swear, I used to be an athlete) and was forced to cancel the whole thing since I couldn't physically sit on a plane for 40 hours. I spent four days in bed, eating into my FEIE limit while also eating my feelings in Annie's mac & cheese. I realized that I needed to GTFO of the country, so I called up an old friend in Vancouver and said, "Prepare the couch at the Rat Palace. I am arriving in two days." I winced through the travel day, sitting straight up and down like a punished school child while wondering to myself why in the hell the IRS still exits when the FairTax would make this whole tax nonsense go away. 

New friends and old friends underneath the mountains of Banff, Alberta. 

New friends and old friends underneath the mountains of Banff, Alberta. 

And so, I've been squatting in Canada, in dangle arm, for nearly a month while my back heals and a few other life things shake out. In spite of having no idea where I'm going to live in a week, I've found this Canadian adventure to be relatively productive. I'm close to finalizing a deal that will finally alter the course of my life. I've met a few new friends. I've spent lots of time with a few of my favorite old friends. I finally saw Banff, which had been on my bucket list for years. And I'm the proud new owner of .05 bitcoins. Five years too late, but really, right on time.