Saturday, January 24, 2009

Posting for the sake of posting

I haven't written on here because I couldn't think of anything interesting to say. After coming home from Venezuela and getting into normal routines and the insanely cold weather lately, I think I got a bit of the winters blues. It's normal for me to feel this way this time of year, I skipped it last year because of the new and exciting Toronto adventure we were on.

I've read a couple good books lately. "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins was more about reinforcing my already held beliefs. I actually highlighted some quotes that I found inspiring and when time allows will post them there. Today I just finished "I Know This Much Is True" by Wally Lamb. Nick lent it to me and I really loved this book, just a much as I loved "Middlesex" when I read it in December.

Sadly this week Emilio's employer decided they no longer need him, so we are back at square one in that department. Finances are probably the biggest issue between partners and this one has taken it's toll on us as well. Just more of a long a frustrating road we have been on for way too long. Emilio remains hopeful, me..not so much.

Yesterday my friend Joe at work (in New Jersey) was told he is being riffed. Joe has worked for our company and it's many different names and aquisitions for 45 years. He is one of the nicest, even keeled, dependable persons I have ever worked with. I am sad and angry about this decision, especially since we just hired someone from the layoff list 3 weeks ago and now Joe is losing his job (I smell ageism). I imed him immediately about my anger using too many !!!!!. His calm note back was to the effect, "it's just my time". Within an hour he was on a conference call learning a new system with me that he will use only for 4 weeks, that's Joe for you. He wanted to be on the call to help out.

Our condo is still not registered. I am still fighting the evil builder. There are still so many issues with the building as we approach one year into it. We still don't have a mortgage because of their complete incompetence in getting the money pit registered. If anyone ever buys anything from Norstar aka Willowfield Winchester, I will personally throttle you by flinging myself through the internets and popping out your monitors.

Life goes on and and living in Canada beats the US any day.

Friday, January 09, 2009

More Venezuela

Monday I finally relented and went to the medical clinic found out I needed an antibiotic for my stomach issue. I was feeling much better quickly so we have been touring around ever since. Tuesday just around Caracas.

Yesteday we drove 2 hours to Valencia to see our friend Ana. She came to visit us in New Jersey a couple years ago with Emilio´s Mom. To know Ana is to love her. I got to meet her beautiful daughters and her grandson. Ana was her usual bright self with one of the best laughs I´ve ever heard. The ride to and from Valencia is a scary experience. There are large pot holes, brush fires and insane drivers. I was nerve wracked by the time we arrived back in Caracas last night and dropped off Em´s Mom and Sister.

On Wednesday we did my favourite thing this trip, we took the cable car up Mt Avila. (again with Emi´s Mom and Sis) The view is beautiful, the temperature was about 15 degrees cooler and you get to stand literally in a cloud. We finished with the tour seeing the Hotel Humboldt built in 1958. Carmen (Emilio´s Mom) was sharing her stories of attending parties when the hotel was open in it´s heyday.

Today we leave to spend a day and night in the mountains and tomorrow at the beach, we come back for another party at Andres´ home, then prepare for our journey back home late Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Caracas observations

Stop signs and red lights are but a mere suggestion here in the city. Garbage is lazily thrown from car windows which reminds me of that old commercial with the crying Indian. Seat bells are not used and most disturbing of all no child car seats . I cringe seeing a mother without a seat belt holding a baby in the suicide seat. The government here scream socialism but from what I see it more about power than actually doing a damn thing for the people. Yesterday we went through a very rich neighbourhood and I asked, "who lives here?" I was told Chavistas. Enough said.

Speaking of Chavez, I have been suffering from the Venezuelan version of Montezumas revenge. I call it Chavista revenge. Under which I almost went to the hospital, in researching where to go it seems those with insurance get the best hospitals. I found that sad.

Gas prices here are insanely low, less than USD $2 to fill up an SUV. Yet they also have really cool smaller cars from the major manufacturers that I do not see in the US and Canada. I wonder what the heck?

Yesterday we spent the entire day with an old friend of Emilio. Andres took us all over the place, including a small touristy town called Hatillo. In the evening we went to his beautiful condo and later had a party with some friends. A 14 hour day out and about sounds like fun, except when you have Chavistas Revenge. At about 1:30 am my inner bitch finally came out and I needed to insist to drunk Venezuelans to get me the heck home so I could lay down. I had enough of my toasted rice water, gatorade and coconut water. These moments are the tests of a relationship. I have been sick pretty much since the second day and by yesterday needed to pretend to be better, so I kept telling Emi I was OK. So when I semi wigged out he was gobsmacked, but as usual I cannot stay angry with my sweet Emilio for long, I hate seeing him upset, especially when I am the cause. I love him too much for that.

When we got home Hector and Luis surprised us with their new kitten, Cocosetta Canada. The name is derived from the fact that for days I could not get the name of their dog Nucitta correct and just started to call her Cocosetta.

So back onto Andres penthouse condo. It is two floors and magnificent is saying the least. When I asked how much USD is would cost, he told me 230K. I almost cried thinking our shoe box in Toronto cost more then that. But then we have the benefit of being in our beloved Canada, so I did not feel bad for long.

Tomorrow our dear hosts are leaving us for a trip to Chile and Buenos Aires, we are taking care of Nucitta, Violetta, Federico and Cocosetta while they are away. I am going to miss them dearly and already dread the home without these two great men who have been together for 22 years, they are a real inspiration of love for me and Emilio.

My Mother in Law calls daily to see how I am feeling and unfortunately my stomach is the lead of most conversations no matter who we are with. Venezuelans are people who really care and want to help. It is endearing and reminds me of my friends in Canada.