Saturday, October 31, 2009

Exercising With a Puppy

I stopped going to the gym when I went home at the end of August (long story) so now all my exercise is done at home. I still do Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred series, and while I often yell at her during the routine, I now have someone else to yell at too.


Seems jumping around is puppy code for LET'S PLAY! LET'S PLAY! BITE ME! LET'S PLAY! It only took one well-timed jumping jack with him between my feet to stop him from getting too close during cardio, but it seems nothing will keep him away when I'm doing sit-ups.

He starts innocently enough. First he meanders over (or pounces, depending on how sleepy he is) then plops onto my belly. This is the preferred position. I can still do sit-ups with him lying on me, and he doesn't weigh much so it doesn't slow me down.

But the belly sitting doesn't last long. After maybe five seconds he scoots forward until we're nose to nose and he snuffles my face. Doesn't matter which part -- whatever's closest works. I, in turn, laugh (read: giggle) which is puppy code for STRANGE NOISE! COMING FROM MAMA! LICK! BITE! SNUFFLE!

At this point I push him off me -- still trying to do my sit-ups (I'm following along with a video here) and he burrows his nose in -- you guessed it -- my armpit. Aside from the gross-factor, it also tickles, which causes more giggles and usually an unintentional elbow to his head. I push him away again and he moves around to...

*cue harps and angels singing*


Game over. Have you ever tried doing a sit-up with an animal clinging to your head? It's really not as effective as you might think. Fortunately at this point the video has moved on to the next round of cardio, at which point Owen backs off and regroups until it's time for sit-ups again.

The last time I worked out I finally put him on his leash and tied him to a chair just out of reach, so instead of him attacking me, he talked to me the entire time. At least he was encouraging during the sit-ups. :P

Who me?

Here he is acting all innocent while visiting friends earlier this week.

Friday, October 30, 2009


I tried to write a post for today, I really did, but I have too many other things on my mind. Instead, can I just ask that you'll please think positive thoughts for one of my family members? It's been a stressful week for several of them (including three separate car accidents), but one in particular has me worried.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

That Writing Thing

I know I haven't talked about writing much here in the past week or so, and that's because I'm giving myself a little distance from my wip, After the Fall, until I finish a tutorial for Flash. I have two chapters left in that book, so I plan to start the second draft this weekend.

Ironic that it coincides with NaNo, no? A lot of my friends are doing NaNo this year and of course a teeny part of me wishes I were too. Just a teeny part though. Instead, I've decided to try to get through the second draft in one month. There are roughly 30 chapters so it should break down okay (aside from the fact that in addition to working by chapters, I also do several passes for particular problems) and I'd love to have a shiny new draft come December 1st.

Giving me a nice kick in the pants, as usual, Erica Orloff's blog post yesterday talked about perfecting your pitch and she critiqued our 45-word pitches in the comments. Even if you aren't at that point yet, it's helpful to see what works and what doesn't, and at 45 words each (or less), it's not too cumbersome.

After the Fall has three point-of-views, and I can't decide which I prefer:

When Greg Vandenberg kills a masked intruder who's attacking his daughter, the community calls him a hero. But the intruder is revealed as his best friend and neighbor and the two families find themselves on opposite sides of the tragedy, both struggling to understand what drove the man to attack.


Becca Vandenberg wakes up to find a masked man trying to rape her, and is saved when her father kills the man. But the intruder is revealed as her neighbor and father of the boy no one knows she's dating, and she fears their secret may have driven the man to attack.


When Carol Stevens hears that her husband had "an accident" at the neighbor's house, she assumes he died of natural causes. But he was killed while trying to rape their friend's daughter, and now she's the only one left to protect her children from a community hellbent on crucifying their father's memory.

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


It's been a busy couple days -- for me anyway -- and you'd think I'd have plenty to talk about, but I'm drawing a complete blank. I've played even more games, Owen's lost more teeth, we've had a couple crazy thunderstorms, and my computer almost died, yet nothing is inspiring me for a post.

Seems to be contagious among my blogging friends.

Maybe it's because we had daylight savings on Sunday while the US doesn't switch until this coming weekend. It's been dark when I get up and perhaps that's screwed up my head. Who knows...

So, do you have plans for Halloween?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Have you ever played cribbage?

My sister taught me while I was visiting over Labor Day weekend, and to say we played non-stop would be a bit of an understatement. We get a tad obsessive about our games -- years ago it was gin rummy, and for the past several years it's been Scrabble. But now... ahh, cribbage.

I bought a version to bring back with me and forced Ibis to play, but we never made it past that first attempt. I was sure he'd like it because you use cards and a board (you don't get bored with one or the other) and it's all strategy, which he loves, but he couldn't get into it. A lot of it was my fault because I was still learning and it's tough to play when neither of you are very comfortable with the rules, but either way, we haven't played since.

Yesterday we hung out with our friends at their hotel (on the HUGE patio) and it wasn't long before someone busted out the cribbage board. Be still my beating heart. We played until it was too dark to see and dinner was ready, and I'm proud to say I held my own with guys who have been playing for years.

Today I'm bringing my new board for a rematch.

Do you have any games you're addicted to, or that you always play when you get together with friends and family?

Monday, October 26, 2009


As my writing friends are aware, November is National Novel Writing Month, more commonly known as NaNoWriMo, or NaNo, and it's an annual challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. The biggest complaint I've heard (from publishing industry people) is that far too many of those writers then begin querying their novels on December 1st.

Those who know better (ahem *straightens lapels*) write another 20,000 words, minimum, then write several more drafts before declaring the novel complete. I participated for the first time last year and by November 30th I had 63,000 words. I didn't pick it back up until mid-summer, and I finished the first draft last month. Yes, I'm talking about After the Fall.

I've heard a lot of complaints about NaNo -- aside from the querying gripe -- and the most common is that "forcing yourself to write that many words daily" is just teaching bad habits. NaNo's manta is to let yourself write crap (or at least that's how I remember it) and these naysayers seem to think that no one is capable out a high daily output that's not crap.

Well I think that's crap.

Buzz on the street (ie the internet) is that professional writers, those who have a new book or two published every year, regularly write that much per day. 2000 words is roughly 6 pages, and if you're writing a 300-page book (*busts out calculator*) it would take 50 days to write 100,000 words. Now obviously most people won't keep up that pace, but even if you add a month or two extra, the quantity doesn't seem that far-fetched.

What I took away from NaNo is the knowledge that I can write 2000 words per day. Sure, I need to break my writing sessions into two or three sittings, and actually getting up from my desk is important, but I can do it.

That said, this year... I'm not doing it. I'm looking forward to the edits on "nanonovel08", as I lovingly called it while writing last November, and I'm not ready to start a new idea. To all of you who are -- GOOD LUCK!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Friday morning I woke up and discovered Owen is missing THREE teeth. Three! I knew they start losing them around four months, and as he turned four months on Thursday that makes sense, but I didn't expect him to be so prompt.

He was half asleep here and didn't want me to open his mouth, but there's a red spot where his top tooth fell out (to the left of the tooth you CAN see). The two bottom front ones are also gone.

Last night our friend Mary, her husband, and another couple came over for dinner and after a couple hours of running from person to person to person, then Oh! back to another person, Owen crashed.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I thought I'd give you an update on my second novel, After the Fall. I finished the first draft several weeks ago, then sent it to my beta reader, who sent back some wonderful advice. She'd also read The Other Side so I felt comfortable sending a relatively unpolished early draft, along with several questions about voice, plot, etc.

Then I decided to put it away for a couple more weeks.

I'm currently working through Peachpit Press's Hands-On-Training: Flash CS3 Professional and I've decided that my writing energy (or really, my creative energy) will go to that. Once I've finished the tutorial, I'll start the second draft of After the Fall.

That decision is working well for me, as I'm two-thirds of the way through it, but I've noticed something interesting: my characters are talking to me again. Or if not talking (since as I told Jenna, they don't really do that) but they're living their lives and rearranging scenes that need reworking. It's very considerate of them.

I'd gotten into the habit of thinking about the upcoming scene before getting out of bed, that way as soon as I sat down I could write without getting stuck, and apparently it's the habit that's stuck. This morning I kept replaying the final scene -- one that needs tweaking and I know exactly how, but I haven't touched the file -- and at this point it's so locked in my head I don't even need to take notes. Some of the bigger issues, like making the male POV sound more fatherly, still need more thought, and I'm hoping I can focus these morning ponderings on his perspective.

It's nice actually looking forward to edits, and it's giving me extra motivation to finish the Flash book.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The War of Art Giveaway

My cousin Jenna is giving away copies of Steven Pressfield's The War of Art TODAY!

Pressfield's weekly writing post, Writing Wednesdays, discusses how writers can, among other things, get over resistance -- the thing that keeps us from living the life we want to live (or something along those lines).

Jenna interviewed him and asked him about "mastering fear, getting past those "draw novels", and themes." Run on over and check it out, then leave a comment to be entered in the drawing for a free copy of The War of Art.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'm Healed!

Well, sort of.

I saw the doctor Tuesday evening and after a couple minutes of poking, he declared me fine. I have to keep putting ointment on it for another three weeks, which means STILL no swimming or beachy things, and I still have to wear a band-aid, but I don't have to go back to his office.


We didn't discuss why he wasn't there on Friday, and frankly, I didn't have the energy to ask. I'm just glad this is almost over.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday Stuff and Things

I haven't done one of these in awhile, and since I'm having trouble forming a thought long enough to make up an entire blog post, you get odds and ends.


As of Saturday, we finally have a wash basin/tub that's large enough to hold water AND ME! We bought it so we have something large enough to hold Owen (we've been washing him in a bucket up until now) but if I sit with my legs crossed I can finally cool off in a "pool."

Only problem -- we haven't figured out an effective way to empty it.


I was supposed to go to the doctor last Friday to get a check-up on my toe, but when I arrived I was told he'd already left for the day. They didn't call because "they don't have my number," which isn't true, and told me to come back on Monday.

We called several times on Monday to confirm, but no one answered and so I didn't go. We plan to try again today.

It seems to be healing nicely and I've made the executive decision to switch from the large bandage that requires lots of tape to a regular old band-aid. Now I can shower multiple times a day. Or go in a "pool".


We have friends in town! Regular reader and commenter Mary is here with her husband and we've already gotten together twice. We met them during their stay last year (they stayed where Ibis was working) and now they're back!

Mary is the first blog reader to have the honor of meeting Owen, and so far everyone seemed to like each other. :)


My grandmother is recovering well from spinal surgery and last week moved from the hospital to an assisted living/rehab place where she will have physical therapy, etc. We're all very relieved that things seem to be going so well.


Finally, we still have bugs, although not as bad, and I'm itchy.


What's new with you?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hurricane Rick?

Saturday afternoon I was minding my own business, playing my 114th game of Bejeweled, when a dark cloud swallowed the sky, the wind blew away every piece of paper on my desk, and it started raining inside. Or something to that effect. I closed the doors and windows, turned on the lights, and continued with my game.

About an hour later Ibis returned from the beach, much drier than I'd expected. He and his friends had taken cover beneath a palapa -- well actually, he put his things beneath a palapa while HE swam in the NINE-FOOT WAVES. We both agreed there must have been quite a storm over the ocean. For fun, I checked out and look what I found:

Well look at that. It's a CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE and we knew nothing about it. But Rick? Really? As I read the reports a comment from He-Robin from Saturday suddenly made sense. I thought he mistook my dog's name for Rick and couldn't understand why he thought our puppy looked mean, when actually he was warning me of impending doom. Ohhhhh. Gotcha.

Then my sister-in-law-in-law (if that makes sense) pointed me to a cool website called stormpulse that tracks storms over the different oceans. That site showed me this:

I screen-captured these on Sunday afternoon, a full day after Rick passed by, but trust me when I say I couldn't have been more surprised to see the EYE OF THE STORM directly off the coast of Zihuatanejo. Yikes!

By Sunday the sky was once again clear, most of the rain had evaporated, and it was business as usual.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Leaps & Bounds

So much love. I just can't get over it. :)

We had a big milestone this week -- Owen learned how to jump onto the couch! He's been pulling himself up for quite awhile, much like a toddler, and a couple nights ago launched himself and almost made it on top. He just couldn't figure out how to pull himself up.

Later that day we got him all riled up where he runs in circles around the condo, hurdling chairs and diving under the coffee table, and he LEAPED into Ibis's lap. On the couch. I think Owen was more surprised than we were!

He can't do it every time but I'm sure in another week he won't think twice about it. Other big things: he can stay, he wakes us up to go outside, and he's figured out that there's no sense following me into the kitchen because he gets NOTHING. Ibis on the other hand...

Friday, October 16, 2009

This is Really Starting to Tick Me Off

Can you guess what these are?

If you've been following along on Twitter or are my friend on Facebook then you might guess that these are ticks. I pulled these off Owen in the space of about half an hour, and removed the same amount the day before (then again later after this picture was taken). I put water in the bowl because it's easier to drop them in there, and this way I don't have to squish them and they can't run away. I just have to keep Owen from drinking the water.

He's had bugs since we first got him, so we check him daily for little critters. (He's surprisingly well-behaved while we do it, too. Yesterday he even fell asleep while I was attacking his face.) After one particularly disgusting excavation about a month ago, we thought we had them all and didn't see any for several weeks. Well, it looks like the new litter is here. And now they're attacking us.

We've tried everything short of bug bombing the house, and that's only because I haven't figured out if they actually sell bug bombs here. We've bleached the floor countless times, torn apart the bedroom, washed the curtains... you get the idea. And they still keep coming back.

Since I'm picking them off him with my fingernails -- don't worry, they're just on the surface of his skin -- inevitably one or two ends up crawling on me, and now I have the constant sensation that creepy crawlies are on me. It doesn't help that I have lots of moles and freckles.

Right arm:

Left arm:

Do you have any suggestions for non-toxic remedies, both for Owen and the house? So far people have suggested feeding him garlic, washing him in dish soap and/or flea & tick shampoo (which we do have), and giving him an oral pill (which we're looking into). My preferred option is MOVING, but we need something a little more short-term.


ETA: LurkerMonkey just informed me that my short story is up at his blog today.)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Room Temperature

I try to keep a balance of writing posts and Mexico posts, and I feel like lately I've been a bit heavy on the writing side. While wracking my brain for a Mexico topic -- considering I only leave the house once or twice a week -- my gaze fell upon a tray of eggs sitting on the dining table.

You see, they'd been there since the day before, and it didn't bother me that they weren't in the fridge. Sure, it crossed my mind a hundred different times that I should put them away, but that was more out of a need to be organized than wanting the eggs to be cold. We buy them at both the market and the grocery story and neither place refrigerates them, and since we haven't gotten sick yet, I don't worry about it.

Next up is milk. I think I've mentioned here before that the majority of the milk sold in Mexico is sold at room temperature, and if you've ever traveled to Mexico you've probably seen this for yourself. When we first moved here we bought the refrigerated milk that comes in plastic containers like in the US, but quickly discovered it went bad within a day or two. I forget how we switched, but now we buy the one liter cartons and generally have two or three in the fridge at one time.

Despite the fact that it's stored on a shelf, it doesn't taste any different. In fact, I think it lasts longer than "regular" milk back home. Perhaps the smaller size means you finish it faster & it doesn't have a chance to spoil.

The strangest experience I've had here is still my first week in Mexico, before I'd actually moved here. We were staying with Ibis' aunt in Morelia and even though she had a refrigerator, she stored all her leftovers on the dining room table, still in their pans. If you wanted to eat something, you just set it on the stove, warmed it up, then returned it to the table. I was a little concerned about getting sick, but again, I was fine, so maybe they're on to something here.

I will say I had a hard time drinking her milk. She kept it in a tall metal container ON THE TABLE and when you wanted some, say for cereal or coffee, you poured it through a strainer TO CATCH THE CHUNKY FILM that solidified over the top since the last person set it there.

I do draw the line there.

Do you have any strange refrigeration stories you'd like to share?

(fyi -- The power came back at 6pm Wednesday night, nearly TWO DAYS after it went out.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Minor Rant

I planned to write today's post about the curiosities of Mexican refrigeration compared to US standards -- what things go in the fridge, which do not -- but then we lost power. Monday afternoon I had just finished doing whatever it was I was doing and got up to make lunch when that dreadful pinging sound came from the fuse box. Kind of like a shock from static electricity.

Yes, the power was out. Again.

We waited the ten minutes it normally takes to come back, and when we heard music coming from our neighbor's house I asked Ibis if we'd paid the bill. Now, some of you have heard me complain about this before and are probably wondering why we never pay our electric bill on time. Thing is, they used to put the bills on the meter, then they started putting them on our door/mailbox, and apparently now they're back on the meters. The meters are around the side of the building and half-covered with plants, so they aren't very easy to see, plus the billing cycle is every two months, so it's easy to lose track.

The last time this happened was right when I got back from my trip home, which was roughly a month ago, which also means something is off. We shouldn't have gotten disconnected until NEXT month.

Anyway, Ibis went down to the electric company and paid the bill, but instead of it coming back on within half an hour, we STILL don't have power over 24 hours later. Around 6pm Monday evening he ran an extension cord rigged from our downstairs neighbor's house that runs through our window and keeps the fridge running. And a fan, a light, and as of Tuesday, our computers. I'm writing this on Tuesday evening, and the latest from the electric company is we'll get it back Wednesday.

Since we have the extension cord we're really not THAT inconvenienced, but it would be nice to be able to turn on a light and do laundry. Or use the blender or coffee pot. Or watch TV.


Yes, I've made a note when to pay the bill next, and we'll start checking for the bills in a couple weeks.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Workspace

Adam at Editing Hat and Stacey at Flibbity Gibbit have both posted pictures of their workspace and inspired me to do the same.

First of all, this is pretty much what it always looks like, give or take a plate or book. Now for some explanation:

> The white books on the left are my web design tutorials. I'm studying Flash now and I'm using the Dreamweaver book to prop it up while I read.

> The two plastic bottles are filled with sand and serve as hand weights. I sometimes lift them while reading stuff online. The wristbands are because I have weak wrists & they sometimes hurt if I've been mousing a lot.

> The speakers are so I can hear the Bejeweled guy say "Excellent!" really, really loudly.

> Notepads, pen, and highlighter are all self-explanatory.

> The purple cup is ALWAYS full of water.

> And finally, Owen. He's normally on the floor directly beneath my chair, but I put him there so I could get a closer shot of the desk.

Care to play along? If you post a picture, leave a comment so I know to check it out!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The End: Part Three

Last Thursday I typed The End at the end of my first draft of After the Fall, then Friday I added a scene that helped wrap up the climax -- totaling another 1300 words -- then I spent all day Saturday doing a "quick" read-through so it would be coherent for my beta reader. Thirteen hours and another 800 words later, I sent it off.

At 88,500 words, this time I really mean The End.

During my marathon reading/editing session I kept having that strange sensation that while I knew I wrote what I was reading, it didn't feel like I wrote it. But in a good way. There were a few loose ends I needed to fix (hence the additional 800 words) but for the most part everything seemed to mesh. And I didn't even hate the final page. (I usually hate my endings.)

My plan is to give myself a break from After the Fall and concentrate on getting better with a couple web design programs and continuing my job search. And doing another round of edits in The Other Side. Have I mentioned that? A trusted friend and published author suggested that the voice wasn't quite there, that it sounded a little too much like me and not enough like a nineteen-year old Mexican man, so I'm going to go through it one more time. Then go back to querying.

So how was your weekend?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What a Crybaby, Part 2

Our first video of Owen! You might want to shove a cotton ball or two in your ears before listening -- he's hitting an octave that sopranos can only dream of.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The End

Yesterday I wrote over 3,000 words and then I wrote the best two of my story -- The End. Yay! It's only the first draft and I have a list of things I need to go through and tweak before I send it to my first beta reader, but the bulk of the story is there.

I wrote the first page of the final chapter on Tuesday, and yesterday I was determined to get through a little more, even if I didn't finish. I knew that in addition to the final scene (which I envisioned when I first came up with the idea), I needed to find a way to explain WHY everything happened. I was thinking about that while I worked on that final scene when it suddenly hit me. I backtracked a couple pages and 2,000 more words flew out of me. Flew. It was one of the few times I can recall writing fiction and not being able to type fast enough. I think it was partly because that section was all dialogue, which comes much easier to me. I get how people talk.

(And I also get how people ramble. Man, focus much?)

Another thing I want to share is something strange that happened on Tuesday. I was writing a scene that takes place in the local hospital of my hometown (my book takes place there) and later that day my mom emailed me that she'd been in the hospital for an appointment earlier that day. Meaning she was IN THE HOSPITAL AT THE EXACT TIME I WAS WRITING A SCENE IN THE HOSPITAL. My characters may have walked right by her!

As Jim Carrey would say: Spooky!

Actually, that scene takes place a month from now, so they wouldn't have actually seen each other, but still. :P

ETA: I received an email this morning that my grandmother's surgery went well. It started later than we expected so it wasn't finished until early this morning. Thanks for the well wishes everyone!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

No Reply

It's been several years since I've applied for a job, and in the meantime I've filled my head with endless amounts of information about the publishing industry. How to write the perfect query letter, how to self-edit, what is a normal amount of time to wait (for a variety of things), and the big question that causes endless amounts of debate -- should an agent respond to every single query?

We can discuss this all day (personally I've queried agents who work both ways) but my point today is that now, as I'm sending out resumes and query -- er, cover -- letters I've forgotten what the standard protocol is. Do potential employers respond to everyone? Do they send a "no thanks" email? Or do they save their time and energy for the applicants they're interested in, leaving the others to wallow in eternal no-man's-land?

I'm thinking it's option 3. It makes sense, especially in this economy*, because I can only imagine how many responses they get to a single job posting and it'd be ridiculous for them to reply to everyone. (Which also gets me thinking about agents again, and why it is we expect them to respond to EVERY query, but I said I wasn't going there today…).

One job I've applied for DID say they'll only contact those who are short-listed, and at least they gave a time frame.

So am I right? Do employers only reply to those they're interested in?

*A blogger that I follow regularly always says IN THIS ECONOMY! anytime he refers to the current economic problems, and it took all my will power not to type that above. Writing it here seems to be enough to get it out of my system.

Finally, please send good wishes to my grandmother. She's having spinal surgery today.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Music to My Ears

I sometimes have a hard time explaining to people why I don't like living in Mexico. They see beaches, warm weather, and a relaxed atmosphere -- all of which are plentiful where I live -- but that's the tourist view. Living here is much different.

I've debated writing about those things that I don't like. Of course I could do without the violence, and I think it's clear how I feel about THE HEAT, THE HEAT, GOOD GOD, THE HEAT, but I don't think I've gone into much detail about the other reasons.

Well, during my Canadian research I came across a section titled Important Social Standards. These might seem obvious to most of my readers, and you may find yourself wondering why this even needs to be spelled out, but LET ME TELL YOU, the rest of the world does not function this way. (I don't mean to insult anyone's intelligence or world experience -- I'm sure a lot of you are aware that the US is not the center of the universe.)

Here's the portion of the list that had me longing to be anywhere but here:

1) Lining up or queuing: People normally line up or queue according to the principle of “first-come, first-served.” They will be angry if you push ahead in a lineup instead of waiting your turn.

2) Not smoking in private homes: Most Canadians do not smoke. When you are in people’s homes, you should always ask their permission to smoke. If they do not smoke themselves, they may ask you to go outside to smoke.

3) Being on time: You should always arrive on time — at school, at work and for any meeting. People who are often late may be fired from their jobs or suspended from school. Many Canadians will not wait more than 10 or 15 minutes for someone who has a business meeting. For social events, people expect that you will arrive within half an hour of the stated time.

4) Respect for the environment: Canadians respect the natural environment and expect people to avoid littering (dropping waste paper and other garbage on the street or throwing it out of your car). They expect you to hold on to your garbage until you can find a proper garbage can.

I could tell story upon story about each of these, but I'll let your imagination fill in the blanks. Let's just say that I have had entire conversations with Ibis about each of these "social standards."

What say you?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I've Run Out of Words




Okay, Okay, I'm not completely out of words, but I'm writing this Monday evening and man am I whooped. I applied for another job and while I always take care with my cover letter, etc, this one went above and beyond. They had a handful of essay question about my job experience and, well, let's just say I got a little verbose.

Who me?

I know.

And now I'm wiped out. I did manage to BACKUP my computer though.

What do you do to re-energize?

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Canadian Job Search Has Begun

Saturday I was bouncing between cleaning, playing with Owen, and chatting with friends on Facebook when it occurred to me that I was no long WAITING for anything. The news already came. But I tell you, after two and a half years of twiddling our thumbs and waiting for a magical letter to arrive (which, by the way, has technically still not arrived), it's tough to suddenly switch gears.

So as of Saturday afternoon, the job search has officially begun. Ibis actually beat me to it and sent out his first resume that day, but I didn't find any listings that sounded good until Sunday evening. And even then, it was just the one. I'm also looking in several cities which makes the search process a little more haphazard than I'm used to.

One thing became clear rather quickly: I'll most likely have to take a pay cut because

1) I've been unemployed for over two years and employers don't always like that (even though I have furthered my skills), and

2) the economy kinda sucks right now. Maybe you've heard?

I'll try not to bore you and only fill you in when something actually happens, but I figured my first resume in over three years was worthy of a post.

In other news, I'm approaching my two-year blog anniversary and this is my 600th post. *throws confetti*

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Owen Says He's Very Excited About the Possibility of Moving Someplace Cooler

I've never actually seen his tongue hang out that far -- I only seem to capture it in pictures when I'm looking at the little screen. Poor baby is HOT.

Friday, October 2, 2009

My Other Exciting But Not Nearly As Life-Changing News

My website is up!

In the wake of Immigration trying to destroy my life, I decided to hurry up and launch my website. I was able to get the domain name I wanted, and for the past 36 hours I've been finalizing all the details.

I still plan to do something completely different and much cooler with the portfolio, but this will do for now. Last night around 6pm I suddenly realized I hadn't included any contact information, so now that's there too.

Without further ado...

I'd love to hear what you think. Any issues you have with pages loading, something that's hard to read, typos... you name it.

Part of my long-term goal is to be able to work full time as a freelancer -- or actually form my own business and call myself self-employed -- so let me know if you're ever in the market for a website, or know someone who is.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

We Finally Have an Answer

Yesterday at 4pm, our fifteen-month wait finally ended. We received news from US Immigration regarding Ibis' case -- unfortunately, we did not get the news we'd hoped for.


That's right.

The actual letter stating why we were denied has yet to reach us, so I don't know the specifics. Our lawyer got the verdict via a call center and they only told her the result. There is an opportunity to appeal, but from what I understand:

A) our chances are relatively slim UNLESS there was some sort of error with the process, and

B) the average wait for an appeal is two years.

Frankly, that doesn't sound very appealing -- sorry, I can't help myself despite all this -- so as of today we're starting the process to move to Canada. We need to apply for visas and try to find jobs (so we can get visas), and a whole mess of things I haven't even discovered yet.

I announced this on Facebook yesterday afternoon and from the comments I've already received, I know a lot of people care about us and are very upset with this news. Many have asked if there's anything they can do -- some have even mentioned going to the media -- but I don't think it'll do much good. There are a lot of particulars with our case that I haven't made public and I don't know how they've impacted this outcome. (For those of you I've spoken to privately, this isn't directed towards you.)

I certainly appreciate the support -- without it I'd be in a puddle on the floor -- I just hate to have my friends spend their valuable time on something that most likely won't help.

That said, there ARE two things (off the top of my head) that we do need help with:

1) With the whole world spread out before us, Vancouver is our first choice on where to live. Edmonton is second. If you know anything about either city, if you have connections there, if you know of jobs, if you happen to be tight with Mr. Harper… that's where you can help us.

2) If you're in the market for a furnished two-bedroom condo on the Pacific coast of Mexico, I can get you a great deal.

I'll let you know more as we find out. Yes, we're pissed and frustrated and upset and more than a touch angry, but we're also relieved. Having this hanging over our heads for more than two years has been miserable and made it very difficult to be happy. At least now we can get on with our lives.