Sunday, December 30, 2007

The VP said YESSSSSSSS!


My boss just called. The VP said yes to my transfer. I almost cried. This is such a huge relief. So we are 60% there according to my boss. Now HR US and HR Canada have to agree and work out all the details. Let's hope there is no more snags.

I really went the extra mile this week even though I didn't know if I had a job. Hardly anyone in my organization was working and I received a desperate call from an account manager in the US. I handled his problem that was not even remotely my responsibility with a conference call between the US and field operations in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The customer site was brought up and I got to keep my job. This was one of the first and vital sites of a multi million dollar contract. It's amazing how a simple action can change your life.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Two weeks in and all is well

We hit the two week milestone. We're both still vigorously job hunting. We are using Workopolis, Monster.CA and Canada Job Bank. So far not a single bite for me, Emilio had one phone and one in person unsuccessful interview. We keep saying after the holidays it will improve. My senior manager asked me yesterday to stay on longer until they sort out things. Yesterday was supposed to be my last day. Hell, if they want to keep paying me I am going to keep working even if it's in USD. (The weaker dollar)

Christmas eve was awesome at Doug and Rich's place. We met so many wonderful people through Nick and Mason. We're thankful we get to spend the holidays with all these wonderful people.

We learned a hard city living lesson last night. Always check the weather report! We decided to bundle up and take Katie over to the village for a stroll. We got caught in a downpour in just above freezing temperatures. (1 degree celcius). We tried to get a cab, but the driver wouldn't allow sweet Katie in the car. So we walked and got soaked to the skin.

Speaking of Katie, she's doing much better, she still whines a bit, but the barking is to a minimum. Buster is happy as usual.

We're still trying to sells Em car. So far no luck.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Holidays


I woke up feeling unbalanced today. I am working today, but don't know if I have a job at the end of this week. Yesterday Emilio and I spent the entire day job hunting on the computer. We took shifts taking breaks. We realize the holidays are a terrible time to search so it's a daunting task and sorta like climbing a mountain of marbles. I decided to write a personal e-mail to the VP who is deciding my fate. I figured if she's making this important life decision for me she should have the facts of why we moved to Toronto. (No Response since last Thursday)

Brampton proved successful. We got into our POD and took out some things we needed like Katie's cage which we haven't used in years. She seems to keep it at a low whimper for awhile then settles in. After her walks I also make her climb the 7 flights of steps with me. Let her burn off some of that anxiety.

The house closed last Thursday, we're just waiting for the funds to clear. That's one huge relief.

Saturday we had a terrific time at Doug and Rich's Yule dinner and tonight they are hosting X-mas eve. I have to repeat what I have learned, the best thing about Canada is the Canadians and the friend's we have made here prove that to us over and over again.

I miss our family amd friends in the US today. I was thinking of how much fun we had last year with them (actually every year is great) . My heart is heavy that we cannot be with them. It's the first time I've felt real sadness since we moved here.

Back to work.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A bad week in Toronto is better than

any good week we've had in the US over the last 6 years.

I still don't know about my job and next Friday is my expected last day. Katie is calming down but still I worry when we are away from her. Job hunting is tough at the holidays, we couldn't get the stuff we need from the POD until today. A few other small quirky things too.

BUT.........

I've never felt more at home in a city in my life. In the US it seemed like the nation and people only saw "gay" when dealing with us, whether good or bad. Here you just blend into the multi cultural mix. It's truly a melting pot. Last night we went to the festival of lights with Nick, Mason, Doug, Rich, Jason and Lee. It's a celebration of the solstice where they have a parade around Kensington Market. It's just nice to be in a place that celebrates diversity rather than discourages it. I look forward to everyone enjoying the freedom and quality of life we have here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The good and the bad, mostly good

5 days in and I am happy to report we have absolutely no regrets. Sometimes I have those "holy shit, we live in Canada now" but it's not a negative at all.

We enjoy walking around the city, we haven't taken public transit once, we found everything we need right here in downtown. Katie has calmed a bit but still is troubled.

The government is very efficient here. Services Ontario is fantastic. It's like one stop shopping for all your governmental needs, Healthcare, Licensing (marriage, drivers. birth certificates, car registrations). All in one place. We thought that was great.

The bad- The selective snow removal on sidewalks is disturbing, not for intrepid guys like us but for the sick and elderly. I've seen a guy with a broken leg trying to climb over a pile of snow and far too many seniors distressed as they try to navigate in front of imbecile's places who don't clear their property. I learned from our friend Mike that the snow budget was cut years ago and they decided to make snow removal up to the property owners and store keepers, but they do not enforce the fines, so far too many just don't clear at all.

Today we are going to Mississauga to clear the infamous "POD" from customs.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Our dog is keeping us prisoner

Katie keeps barking every time we leave her. Yesterday we spent $200 on her. We are trying to solve this issue. New Kong, treats, a barking collar and boots. She's one lucky pup.

The neighbour downstairs left a note about the barking. We left one back apologizing and explaining. Tomorrow I plan on getting tranquilizers.

Tonight we are supposed to go to Nick and Mason's friends Geoff and Bob's place for a holiday pot luck. We hope the over the counter anxiety meds kick in on Katie so we can go.

The storm today is amazing. I helped push a stranded motorists out of a bank, but in general it seems most people stay off the roads (the smart ones that is)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bienvenidos a Toronto!

"Screw the snow"!......very bbbaaadddd idea.
We ended up working on packing the POD and cleaning the house until 2am on Wed night so we had a late start on Thursday morning. Shortly after crossing the border to Pennsylvania the snow started and I called Emilio to say if we get north of the storm we can out run it. We didn't. Somewhere on RT 81 around Scranton the road was closed and we were stuck so I asked the GPS for detour. We ended up driving over mountain roads that had not been plowed yet. Needless to say we were "white knuckled" the entire time. We made it through but the conditions were so bad we didn't get above 40 miles per hour until we were 1 hour from Buffalo, so we missed the car export closing time at 4PM. We weren't even close.

I called Lisa to apologize for not being able to arrive at her place to take over the sublet. She searched online and found us a pet friendly hotel in Buffalo.

Friday we exported and imported the cars at the border, got to our Parliament Street new home in the afternoon (which is around the corner from the condo being built). We spent the rest of the day unloading the cars and helping Lisa with some of her stuff. Em and I went out for a great Chinese dinner at Parliament and Carlton. Today we are unpacking

Poor Katie (our cocker spaniel) is not taking all this so well. She's got anxiety and we can't leave her alone without a barking fit. Anyone who knows our dog knows she's normally not very vocal. So we need to work with her so we can actually go out without her. Buster (our cat) is his usual submissive happy self.

Emilio said to me the snow storm was symbolic of our fight in the US. It either was going to beat us or we beat it. We won again, but never without drama.

So we now live in Canada, we love Toronto and we have friends here to welcome us. What more can a couple ask for?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Screw the snow!

We're leaving tomorrow at day break. We realized we won't have a bed here tomorrow because the infamous "POD" will be picked up. The Weather Channel has a trip tracker that predicts the weather during your trip, if we leave around 5am we will miss the storm. Woo Hoo!

Last night we said goodbye to Ash, Karen and Nijl. They stopped by the house. Hopefully they will be up to see us soon.

We are in the home stretch of packing. The end of it is always the hardest deciding what should go into storage, what to keep and what realistically we can fit in the cars.

It surreal that tomorrow we will be living in Canada. I guess it will fully sink in when we arrive.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Snow is predicted on our move date


So we are looking at Friday instead of Thursday. It just makes sense. Although I wish we could pull it off for tomorrow.

Last night we said goodbye to our dear friends Dennis and John, plus the "wonder wagon". I know Dennis will enjoy it as much as I did and John will avoid it as much as Emilio did. They are coming up in March and we can't wait to show them Toronto.

Today we are going to the lawyers to pre-sign the house closing documents. Our Katie is feeling a bit nervous. When I rescued her in 2000 she was abandoned in an empty house that her original family moved from. She was a mess physically and emotionally back then. The experience seems to be upsetting her. So yesterday I took her for some walks to cheer her up.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Moving Sucks

I mean the actual process. This past weekend was spent delivering the contents of our house to our loved ones. It was an exhuasting time. Saturday we went to my cousin's and yesterday up to my brother's and my parent's house. At one point I just fell asleep in the middle of the living room floor.

Mom and Dad took us all out for dinner and I looked at Emilio and muttered "I'm sad", he got choked up but we hid it from the others. We're going to miss the weekends with our family. I was feeling low when we left them but managed to talk myself out of it. Emilio and I talked about how this all wouldn't be necessary if the USA wasn't such a difficult place to live. It's not fair, but on the other hand Toronto has given us a home, it's a great home, and we feel like we belong there rather than here. We're excited to not be the only gay couple on our street or at our jobs. We will be part of the rule now not the exception both personally and politically.

So today we're loading up the POD without any great effort because we have until Wednesday to do so. I completely recommend PODs, it's a relaxing way to move. No rushing.

To those who are moving behind us. Despite the emotion of leaving we are 100% certain leaving the US is a necessity for binational couples. So fear not!

Friday, December 07, 2007

My last day working in NJ

This is the last day of 7 years working at the same office through 3 different company names. You would think I would be emotional or some other maudlin feeling. I am not. I really just want to get out of here. Today there is a meeting where I will be discussed with the big wigs to try and keep me on. I promised them I will work until the end of the month from Toronto. My co-workers are in a bit of a panic. Not to brag too much but I recently realized just how much I am the strongest link in the chain when I was sent my productivity figures.
Life goes on and needless to say I am already job hunting.

The POD arrived today! The packed boxes are going in!

Last night we met the buyer of the house to show her some things. She's so excited and is in love with the house. It was such a great idea for us to meet. It makes any last minute fears and anxiety go away.


Onward and forward we go.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A good one...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

My brain is going to explode


I don't even remember the drive to work this morning because I have so many things on my mind. It seems every time I leave the house I have a list for poor Emilio of things that need to get done. My focus at work is painfully bad. This is my last week working out of New Jersey and they are hitting me with alot that they want done because my future is still uncertain and a large layoff is happening in the company so everyone is on edge.

We delivered the spare bedroom set and dining set to my Brother Mike's place last weekend, this weekend we are heading all over NJ and PA getting rid of more.

Emi's car did not sell on E-Bay. Last night was the end of the auction. We are now going to import both cars and sell one there. I am now leaning towards keeping Emi's smaller, more economical one and selling my small SUV. He'll be happy to read this since Emilio's car is one of his favorite things. Dennis H gets the wonder wagon to John's chagrin.

Today the radon guy comes to solve that $1500 issue and tomorrow the Electrician to solve that $2500 issue and we are still on target to leave on the 13th. 13 is a special number for us. Our first date, Emilio's Birthday, our Domestic Partnership all were on 13ths, so why not move on it too. I don't believe in superstition normally but it has been a good number for us.

Onward and forward and send my Emi your good thoughts I have him jumping through hoops and he smiles through it all.