Month: June 2013

  • Report # 1017

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all been having a great weekend so far. On Thursday night I talked with my grandmother and I was able to book a flight to Calgary on July 3. I will stay a week and head back home on July 10. I plan on going to Mexico on July 13, but I haven’t booked that flight yet, but I’ll definitely do that today. Even though Calgary has been through a lot with the flooding, it will be my last chance to go there before I go to Mexico, so I had to go at this time. Everything is alright where my grandmother lives so it will be fine, I just probably won’t be able to get out and explore places as much as usual. Ultimately though I’ll  be there to see my grandmother and aunt before I go, so I’m sure it will be a great visit.

    I worked my last day on in the office on Friday, and just like that, after one month and one week, I’m done working there already. Everyone was super nice, and the guy who runs the practice said that he’s sorry to see me go and that if I’m back in town in the future and I need work I could always give them a call. The supervisor even said she would write me a reference letter, which I never asked for, as I didn’t want to ask for one seeing as I was only there for just over a month, so it was a nice surprise. Of course I definitely did my best while I was working there, but I missed a few days and I was there for such a short time period, I didn’t think of asking for one. So it feels good knowing that they enjoyed having me there and that even though it was such a short time, I was able to find such a nice place to work.

    Yesterday I ran to Tim Hortons in the morning, came home and vacuumed the house, went grocery shopping, and ran with Parker in the afternoon before swimming in the pool and sun tanning. It was a pretty humid day for her and just over 28 C (82 F) Today is already hotter as it’s 31 C (88 F) so summer is definitely here. There have been some heat warnings issued as further away from the ocean it will be much warmer, but of course if people use common sense they shouldn’t have a problem. I will definitely go for a nice run in the heat this afternoon…. I always love doing that !

    Today my grandmother and her friend will be coming over for dinner and we’ll be eating hamburgers, so that will be a good meal. This evening I’ll definitely check out flights to go to Mexico, and aside from that I’ll just be enjoying the great weather. Tomorrow I definitely plan on heading downtown to walk and take some pictures and of course enjoy some of the Canada Day festivities. So today I wanted to talk about some things regarding diversity, race and religion. I am sure some of the things I talk about will be somewhat controversial, but I have to talk about these things sometimes.

    A local MP (member of parliament) has suggested that April should be “Punjabi Heritage Month” in Canada. This would be a month to celebrate and promote the Punjabi culture and people. (For those people who don’t know, Punjabi is a language from India, mainly in the Punjab province.) Firstly I will say in my city, there is certainly a large Punjabi community, and these people have certainly added a lot of culture and diversity to the city and been great members of the community, helping with many charities and really adding a lot to the city. It’s great to have diversity and certainly there is a lot of Punjabi history here, and I’m sure in other parts of the country as well.

    That being said, the idea of having a Punjabi Heritage Month for Canada is absolutely ridiculous. Canada is a multicultural country, and there just can’t be special months set aside for one group of people. There are sooooo much diversity in this country, and so many different groups of people that it just wouldn’t be fair to give some groups special announcements while other groups don’t get anything to celebrate their history and culture. And while in my city, having this sort of month would certainly mean something to many people, there are so many parts of Canada where the Punjabi community is very small, or maybe even non-existent and people there would just not understand.

    In my city we already talk about and celebrate the Vaishaki Parade, and Diwali, and a lot of residents are very engaged with these events… why is an actual Punjabi Heritage Month needed ? So I oppose this sort of proposal 100 %, and I would say the same thing for any other proposal that tries and create a special month celebration for any single group of people. I would certainly support something such as Cultural Diversity Month, where Canada as a whole can celebrate cultural diversity in our society and learn about and take part in events celebrating the many different cultures, but for just one group of people absolutely not.

    Of course the people who choose to come here should put themselves as Canadian first and foremost, they should certainly be proud of where they are from, and having a month that allows the many different groups of people in this country to celebrate, embrace, and share their cultures, foods, celebrations, and history with Canadians all across the country would be a wonderful thing. So my main point here is that diversity, immigration and celebrations of different cultural events are a wonderful thing for Canada, all cultures must have equal opportunities to share their customs in Canada, and creating a month to celebrate just one groups’ culture is 100 % wrong !

    As I’ve said in previous blogs, I enjoy talking with and meeting people from other countries. It’s fascinating for me, and I just enjoy it so much. I try to be an informed person to what is happening in this world and to know at least a little about many of the different countries in this world, but of course I could always learn more. From time to time I’ve talked to people from other countries and I’ve gotten into some interesting debates with some of these people. I can certainly understand why this happens, because a lot of how a person thinks and what they believe in, has to do with where they were born. Obviously I would think much differently if I was born in the 1950′s in Iran rather than the 1980′s in Canada… this is just obvious !

    A few weeks ago I was talking to someone from Turkey and it was an interesting conversation to say the least. Turkey is a Muslim country more or less, though the people there certainly have more freedom than they do in other countries such as Iran or Saudi Arabia. I was talking to a girl from there about a whole different range of issues, and we certainly clashed on a few fronts. She was not only 100 % against same-sex marriage some of her thoughts on gay people in general were just horrible. And I can bet a lot of people from certain countries think the same way. Basically they think that people just choose to be gay and they are disgusting people who are ruining the planet with their behavior and well I could go on and on, but it’s just very sad they think these horrible things that are so wrong.

    I tried to debate with this girl saying that they are not bad people and they are not hurting anyone, and that they should be respected like anyone else, but of course she will always think the way that she does. Honestly I thought some of the things she said and thought were not only 100 % wrong they were very hurtful. Of course this doesn’t just have to do with her personal beliefs, but based on where she was born and the way she was raised and the customs of her country. I can imagine even in cities as open as Vancouver, it can still be a challenge to be a gay person, but in many places in the world it is way more than just a challenge, it is illegal and downright dangerous to admit to being gay. These attitudes just have to change !

    Even in this part of the world there is much more work to do to create an equal world for gay people, so I can’t even imagine how much more difficult life would be on the other side of the world. Things are slowly getting better over here, as the recent US supreme court decision has shown, but there is much work to do over here…. and much more work to do on the other side of the world. I’ve always said that no one has to agree with same-sex marriage, but they have to understand that it’s not their life and they have to respect the lives of other people and respect that they should have 100 % equal rights as well. And that respect is clearly missing in the minds of too many ignorant and closed minded people in this world.

    And of course when I’m talking with these people from far away countries, our discussions and disagreements go far beyond things such as same-sex marriage, but to religion as well. I was talking to some Muslim people and I was saying how its horrible that so many people have such terrible ideas about Muslims and they think things that are so false. I brought up the Boston Marathon Bombings and was trying to make the point that the people responsible obviously weren’t true Muslims, but extremists, fanatics, and just very sick people with crazy beliefs. Unfortunately many ignorant people will see these sort of attacks and think ridiculously untrue things about Muslims, which is very sad an unfortunate.

    Are there Muslim terrorists in the world ? Obviously ! But there are Christian terrorists, Jewish terrorists, Sikh terrorists, and agnostic and atheist terrorists as well. I’ll never understand who someone can be so stupid to think that only people from one religion are terrorists. The truth is very few people from any religion are terrorists, and when there are terrorists they can be from any different religion ! And anyone who is a terrorist obviously is not a religious person anyways because no religion would ever support any type of terrorists attacks and the killing of people… that is against everything that any religion would stand for. So really the terrorists can’t claim to even be religious to begin with… they are just cold-hearted and sick cowards who carry out their disgusting plans and may or may not use a religion as an excuse of doing what they do.

    Now as I’ve stated earlier, I’m 100 % supportive and appreciative of diversity, and I think it’s wonderful that certain countries have so much diversity, so much culture, and so many people from many different countries and walks of life….. this enriches all of our lives. We all need to be respective of these people and their religion…. no matter what it is. If a Muslim woman wants to wear a Hijab, burka, or Abaja, they should be respected 100 %, and if they don’t want to wear any of that, they should be respected 100 %. Certain countries fail to respect these choices such as Iran, Saudi Arabia (its a law for women to use them) and France. (it’s a law for women not to use them in Public)

    Being racist or discriminatory towards anyone based on their religion, way of dressing, language, where they are from, sexuality, that is all 100 % wrong and anyone responsible for harbouring any sort of hate towards different people is a disgusting human being. So I can’t even begin to imagine how hard life would be for certain groups of people in some countries. And there is no question being a Muslim in parts of the world can’t be that easy. And of course the same thing is happening to Christian people in other countries as well as there are always Christians being persecuted and this is 100 % wrong as well. So I am saying that it doesn’t matter if it’s a Christian person being persecuted or discriminated against, a Jewish person being persecuted or discriminated against, or a Muslim person being persecuted and discriminated against, it’s 100 % wrong !

    Now going back to some of the conversations I’ve had with some Muslim people, I have told them that I feel that Muslim people need to open up more to people from other walks of life. Obviously they don’t want to be misunderstood, and they want to be treated with respect and equality when they are in other countries, but the truth is that I find many Muslim families to be very closed minded. For example most Muslim families won’t support being with anyone in a relationship unless that person is Muslim as well. How do they expect to be better understood if they continue locking out people from other cultures ?

    Now of course I could say the same thing for people who are Christian or Jewish…. if they are only supporting their people from being in relationships with people of the same faith as well, then they are being just as bad. This type of discrimination and closed-mindedness is not helping our world and if too many families continue with these attitudes of exclusion, racism and discrimination will sadly continue being far more rampant than it would if more people were accepting and supportive of those who fall in love with people from other countries and cultures. I just hope in the coming years more people will decide to open up in terms of their beliefs and how they see people from other countries and the friends they have and the relationships they are in…. this will open up so many more doors in the world and I strongly belief the world will be a much better place.

    And when there immigrants to a new country, the people of that country should be welcoming and respectful and make these new people feel like they belong. A country full of love and a willingness to help one another regardless of where they are from and the beliefs they hold is certainly a much better place than a country full of discrimination and hate. And if I was to give a message to new immigrants as well, it would be they have to open up as well. If they just come to another country to only hang out with people of their own country or religious group, and make no effort to fit in to their new country and the people that live there, well then they are not being much better than the discriminatory and racist people, and that certainly is something they should be ashamed of as well.

    So shame on all of the closed minded, discriminatory, and racist people out there who make the lives of those from other countries and those of different nationalities and racial groups difficult, and shame on the people who move to another country and choose to lock out the people of that country and only continue their lives as if they are in their birth country…. you are all contributing to a more hateful planet and if you all don’t change your ways, nothing will ever improve. Certainly the world is a much easier place to live for different types of people in other countries than it was 50 years ago, but it’s 100 % evident that there is still much work to do. We should all roll up our sleeves and do our parts to make this world a much more accepting and friendly place where people from any country and any culture can mix well with one another and be the best of friends.

    Anyways, for the next question:

    What do you think about cultural diversity, mixing in more with people from other countries and cultures, and the problems that we all face such as discrimination, racism and ignorance ?

    So I hope that everyone enjoys the rest of the weekend and Happy Canada Day for tomorrow to any Canadians ! Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Wednesday, bye for now.


  • Report # 1016
    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all been having an awesome week so far. On Monday morning I left the house around 10:15 am to head to downtown Vancouver and pick up my passport and visa from the Mexican consulate. It was a good thing that I brought my umbrella as it was absolutely pouring at times. Pretty much as soon as I got into the Mexican consulate office, a lady noticed that I had come in, and she went to get my passport immediately.
    I don’t actually have the actual visa yet, but I have a page of my passport completely covered with a card with my photo saying “Mexico Visa.” I’ve now done everything that I can do here in Vancouver, and the next, and I hope final step, will be to go to the migration offices in Monterrey and show my passport and visa card and pay another fee, and to finally get the actual visa. I’m not sure if I would get it that day, or if it would take a few days, but that’s ok as I’ll have lots to do once I’m in Monterrey.
    I’ve been in communication with the lady from Teleperformance, and originally I asked her to talk with the other department to figure out what day I could start. I finally realized that since I don’t know exactly when I’ll be in Monterrey and how long it will take me to get set-up, that it would be easier for me to call her once I’m in the city, and then the company can set me up with a training group, which from what they told me, they have almost every week.
    So today I got an email from the lady from the company and she said it would be just fine if I let her know when I’m in the city, so she can set me up with a training group and I can begin to start working. I’ve worked at my current job the last two days from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm, and I have two days to go, with Friday officially being my last day. After Friday I will probably see about going to Calgary to visit my aunt and grandmother, and then I would come home within a week, and get set to go to Mexico a few days after that.
    I think I’ll be flying into Mexico City again as it is just much nicer to get a direct flight then having to stop in Texas and wait around for a few hours. I would probably spend a day or two in Mexico City, and then get to Monterrey and head to the migration offices ASAP to do what I have to do to finish off the process, finally get the actual visa, and begin to work. So things continue to move around, though I definitely have a lot of stuff to figure out in the coming days and weeks.
    After picking up my passport, I took the Skytrain to Central City Mall, and I met my grandmother and we had lunch at Rickys. After lunch she drove me home, and she picked me up later as we went to Colossus to see Man of Steel. It was a very entertaining movie, definitely with tons of action and explosions. My grandmother was telling me how much more explosions and action there was in comparison to the Super Man movies of the 1980′s.
    I’ve actually never seen those movies before, but I’ll certainly have to check them out. I haven’t even seen the other new Superman movie from 2006, so I really don’t know much about Superman movies. The weather has been pretty interesting over the last few days. It’s been a mix from super wet and cool weather, to very warm and sunny weather, with complete down pours, and even some lightning and thunder at night. From what they were saying before, it will get warm and sunny for the Canada Day long weekend, so that will be great !
    Anyways I won’t really get into any topics today as I’ve typed up enough, so for the next question:
    What is your favourite super hero movie ?
    I wish everyone all of the best with everything. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Sunday, bye for now.

  • Report # 1015

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all had an awesome weekend. I worked on Friday from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm and then again on Saturday from 9:00 am until 4:30 pm. After work on Friday I came home, and my brother’s Japanese speaking friend was at the house giving my parents a presentation on knife sets. It was one of those types of sales jobs where you have to be an amazing speaker, pretty much say everything that has to be said, and ultimately sell well to make any money. I remember in 2007 I went to a company that wanted me to do the same sort of thing, but with some small type of vacuum cleaner. I really do think those types of jobs should be illegal unless they are paying at the very least, a base salary of minimum wage.

    Some of the things he said in his talk which I kind of listened to from the next room were that people with a great set of knives cook much more, eat out much less, and will save thousands of dollars in their life time since they won’t be eating out in restaurants much and the knives of course will last forever. It was a fascinating talk, but I certainly think they exaggerate some things. I definitely admire the guy for trying that type of work… I certainly would not be able to do that well. My parents bought a few knives, but they didn’t buy a whole set, which would have cost over $ 1,000 !

    As I went to work on Friday morning it was kind of cloudy, but after work it was super sunny, and it actually felt incredibly warm. It got up to around 23 C (73 F) so much warmer than that super wet and cold Wednesday of last week. I am sure there will be much warmer days in July-September as well, though I won’t be here probably anyways. And certainly in Monterrey I won’t be worried about it being too wet or cool in the summer, as it will just be super hot and sunny almost every single day there for a few months. Yesterday I ran to Tim Hortons in the morning, and later in the day I went for a run with Parker. I met my brother at the school as he was walking with Molly.

    I actually haven’t ran too much in the last couple of weeks, but hopefully I can pick it up and run a lot more before heading to Mexico. Today I will be going to pick up my visa at 12:00 pm in the Mexican consulate office downtown. Afterwards I’ll head home and give the lady from Teleperformance a call and see if she can find out or get me to call the other department to find out what day I’ll be able to start working there. I said my last day at my current job will be this Wednesday, but that could certainly change. If they don’t need me in Mexico until the end of July, or August or something like that, I would certainly stay here and work another week or two. If I don’t find out when I can start today, I definitely want to know by tomorrow so I can let my company know and plan for the coming few weeks.

    This afternoon I’ll be having lunch with my grandmother and going out to see the new Superman movie so that will be enjoyable. I haven’t been to the movie theatre in two months, since I saw Oblivion, and I haven’t seen a movie with my grandmother since my birthday last year, when we saw The Dictator. However this movie is, I am 100 % certain it will be a much better movie to watch with my grandmother than the one I saw last year !!! So as I’m now 28 years old, it’s been interesting to kind of see how my body has changed over the years. I remember when I was 20ish I would notice the odd grey hair coming up, so I would cut it out ! Of course now I can’t do that as I have way too much of it.. I guess that’s what happens when your life is full of stress !

    I suppose I could buy hair dye and get rid of it that way, but I don’t think I really need to put all of those chemicals in my hair. And it’s not like it’s that horrible that my hair is all grey, but I certainly have lots of it on the sides of my head. So I’ll just have to accept how I am and not let myself get all stressed out and worried about so many things, else who knows, I might be all grey way too soon. I’m certainly happier with myself in other ways, especially in terms of fitness. At the start of 2011 I was in such poor shape I couldn’t even do the run that I do on a regular basis without stopping at the top of the hill, now it’s super easy I can easily do it as often as I want.

    If when I get back to Mexico I can make it to Fundidora Park again on a regular basis and do my 45 minute run super often, I’ll keep myself in super shape and I’ll be incredibly happy. I’ve never really had much for muscles, but that’s because I never go to the gym and lift weights…. it’s really not something that is all that important to me. Another thing that has changed is the things that I can eat. I am not able to eat kiwis or bananas anymore, and it’s been that way for a few years. I mean sure I can eat them and I like them, but I get a horrible stomach ache after and it lasts for like an hour and it’s just not worth it. I’m not sure why I can’t handle those fruits now when I ate them for so many years, but I guess sometimes our systems do change.

    A lot of nights I didn’t sleep too well, and I was thinking maybe because I was having a frappe everyday after 6:00 pm, though at my old job a few years ago, I always had one after 8:00 pm and I never had any problems. There are probably a few others changes that I’ve experienced over the fast few years, but those are certainly the main ones. Ice cream bothered me for a while, but I had an ice cream cake last week for my birthday, and I felt fine afterwards, so it didn’t effect me all this year…. very strange ! Ultimately I think we all just have to embrace the changes that we face over the years, and as long as we are living healthy lives and taking good care of ourselves, then that’s all that really matters.

    I read the other day now that the American Medical Association has now decided to classify obesity as a disease. While this is a very controversial decision, thinking about how things are, I think it makes sense. If anorexia has been thought of the same way for so long, then it makes sense that obesity is thought in the same way as well. I do think it’s important that people understand though that they have to take responsibility for their own weight. So while sometimes I can certainly understand if someone is saying they are doing everything they can but they can’t gain or they can’t lose weight…. the truth is a lot of people truly don’t do what needs to be done to make themselves healthier.

    These people need the support of all of us to get better. The support, the encouragement and the resources to get them to where they want to be. Unfortunately this is a very cruel society, and with all of those horrible people out there bullying others and making jokes because someone is too fat or too skinny, it can be hard for many of those people to cope. So I think anyone who is obese or anorexic deserves 100 % support from all of their friends, family members, and just people in general. The world is a much better place when we work together to help others instead of working to bring everyone else down. So while I think it’s certainly alright to refer to obesity as a disorder as a disease, that doesn’t mean that people should just expect pills and treatment to help them to get better…. they have to be willing to, with much support and help of course, to get themselves to be healthier.

    I know if people really start taking care of their bodies, getting exercise, joining groups with similar types of people, and getting all of the encouragement possible, they can get where they want to be, and society in general will be a much better place because of that. I just hope that the rest of the people in the world can be the encouraging people they should be, and that those cruel bullies in the world cracking jokes and putting others down just shut the hell up, making things much easier for people who are obese or anorexic to get the help they need and to get to where they want to be in their lives, living a super healthy lifestyle. For the next question:

    How has your body changed over the years ? Do you think it’s alright to refer to obesity and anorexia as diseases or disorders, why or why not ?

    I wish everyone all of the best with everything. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Thursday, bye for now.


  • Report # 1014

    So tomorrow is the first day of summer, though it’s pretty hard to tell here by the weather today. It’s pouring rain and 13 C (52 F) so in other words a very chilly June day ! I’m sure it will dry out and warm up over the next few days though, this day is just way below the average for the month. I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining though as soon enough I’ll be feeling the super hot oven heat of Monterrey in the summer time. I’ve never spent time there before in the summer, but last year I was in Hermosillo, also in the north of Mexico, and it’s actually an even hotter city than Monterrey, so I’ll have to be prepared for many days of over 38 C (100 F) weather.

    I worked on Tuesday from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm and then I came home and got things ready for my appointment at the Mexican consulate in Vancouver Wednesday morning. I left the house around 8:15 am, and I took the bus to the skytrain station, and I got downtown a good half an hour early, so I had lots of time. I headed into the consulate at 10:00 am and I filled out my visa application form, and then I had to sit down for a while before heading in for an interview with one of the consulate employees. I had to have my photo taken once again, and they scanned my fingerprints as well. After 10 minutes, a man came out and led me to his office.

    The guy said something and I think I said “sí” or “gracias” and he asked if I speak Spanish, and I said not as well as him (since he’s Mexican) and we ended up doing the whole thing in Spanish… so that must have helped me ! It wasn’t so much an interview as him just asking me a few questions and explaining to me certain things that I would have to do. He asked if I had been to Mexico before, if I had worked in Mexico before, how I learned Spanish, and which part of the country I had been to. He also asked me about the name of the company that I would be working for, the type of work I’d be doing, and the name of the lady from the company who has been helping me out with the whole process. I think some of the questions were for to see if I was really the right person and not someone who just came in my place or something like that.

    Shockingly though I was told that I’ll get to pick up my visa on Monday afternoon ! I actually figured the whole visa process would take another few months, but I guess the visa authorization was the part that takes the long time, and once that is over with and a person gets approved, they get the visa super fast. After the interview I just paid 38 dollars for the visa, and left my passport there as they need to keep it as they prepare the visa. I headed out to the Skytrain station, though one side of the tracks was closed so it took a little longer to get home. Some of the things I heard was that someone jumped in front of the train to kill themselves, but I really don’t know if that’s true as I didn’t see anything about that in the paper today.

    I headed to my work just before 12:00 pm and I talked to the supervisor and explained to her that I was given an opportunity to work for a company that I had applied for a long time ago that I didn’t think I was going to get, and she was very understanding and nice about everything. We talked to the payroll lady and I said my last day of work might be next Wednesday, but I will certainly stay more time if I’m able to. I went straight home that day without working as I had some things to do. I called the lady from Teleperformance and explained to her that I will pick up the visa on Monday. She told me to call back when I have the visa and she will put me in contact with another department to see when I would be starting working there.

    On my visa application form I said that I would arrive in Mexico on July 6, though that was an estimate, and the lady told me it didn’t have to be exact. I have no idea when the company would want me to start exactly, but if I have to be, I could be ready to begin as early as July 8. It would be nice to have a little more time though to get things ready, and plan a trip to Calgary as well. I was told after arriving in Mexico, I have 30 days to go to the migration offices with my documents, and if I don’t do that, the whole process has to start over again, so that is super important, I’m just not sure if those 30 days are exactly from the day I arrive in Mexico, or the day I estimated that I would arrive…. I will definitely ask about that on Monday.

    So ideally I will be able to work another week, maybe a few days longer than that, spend a week in Calgary, and maybe go to Seattle for another day, as Rocío surprised me by telling me she changed her plane ticket home until August as she has been offered free room and board at the hostel in Seattle in exchange for working there. She was supposed to be back in Argentina by June 19, but now she has a lot more time, so I can imagine she’s super happy. I will explain to her that I’ll probably be leaving soon, and if she would like I would definitely come and visit her seeing as it would be an opportunity that I didn’t think would exist before.

    After all of these months of nothing happening, all of a sudden things have happened so quickly that my head is still spinning. I am super happy of course, though I certainly wish, knowing everything that I know now, that I had done things differently. I think I talked about this last time, but knowing what I know now, I probably should have came back to Vancouver right before Christmas, and maybe in that situation I would have found a job in January, and had a whole four extra months of work, plus the money I would have saved not being in Monterrey for those 2.5 additional months. There is no point worrying about all of that now though, I certainly can’t change anything.

    At the end of the day as long as I’ll be working and making money and keeping busy, I think that everything will be ok. I worked again yesterday from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm, and we had a short meeting in the morning with the boss of the office, the guy who basically runs the practice. I was worried he would be upset with me, seeing as he just hired me in May, and my first day was actually a month ago today, but he was understanding and not upset at all. He even said I can still work on Saturday, so I was happy that he wasn’t upset. I certainly do feel a little bad about being given this opportunity and leaving so soon, but I will definitely do my best in the days I have remaining here.

    After returning home from Mexico in March I began applying for so many jobs, and I noticed a number of them required that the preferred candidates would speak other languages. These languages ranged from Punjabi to Hindi, to Chinese, Spanish, French, Tagalog, and a few others. While I can certainly understand that there is a need for certain employees to know other languages in some jobs, it’s a controversial issue as some people feel excluded that they can’t even apply for jobs in their own country because these positions want people to speak languages from other countries.

    I can see both sides of this issue, and while ultimately I don’t think it is right to say someone can’t apply for a position if they don’t know a language that isn’t the official language of the place that they live, for business reasons, sometimes it is necessary, and that is something I can understand. Like for example, if I have a shipping company that does mostly business with China, obviously I would need to have some employees that speak Chinese. So it’s not really discrimination against people who don’t speak those languages, it’s just about getting the right person for the right job. I think as long as these companies are able to offer people who don’t speak any other languages required positions as well, there is nothing wrong with requesting that a potential candidate know a certain language.

    Of course everyone who lives in the country should be able to speak that country’s language as well, so I don’t think it would be a good thing for certain companies only hiring people of their own background and having them speak only in their own language, but clearly in some businesses, they will have to talk in different languages at times, and that is 100 % understandable. Ultimately I do believe though that there are positions for everyone out there, and the people who are not happy with certain positions should not waste their energy complaining and getting upset if they aren’t the right match, but move on and put their energy to matching themselves up with something that really is perfect for them.

    Now with the economy being the way it is though, finding a job in general is hard enough, so I can somewhat understand people’s frustrations of feeling excluded from applying for certain jobs. So I see both sides of this issue, and each side has their points, but at the end of the day I don’t think anyone is being discriminatory and the people who feel left out would certainly be able to find a job that would be a better match for them, just unfortunately in these tough economic times, things take a little longer than usual…. and I know that better than many people ! For the next question:

    What do you think of jobs requiring that candidates be able to speak other languages that aren’t official languages of where they are living ?

    That’s all I have for today. I will leave you with a few more random photos that I took from Rocío’s visit when we had a fire in the backyard. I wish everyone all of the best with everything. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Monday, bye for now.


  • Report # 1013
    So I’m officially 28 years old now as I had my birthday on Sunday. Two years ago really doesn’t seem very long ago, and in two more years I’ll be 30…. that is terrifying ! I think anyone who looks back on my past Xanga updates around this time will see about every year I have written something saying about how old I’m getting, and each year it’s getting worse. I can’t even imagine being over 30 and 40 and all that !!!!
    My weekend was short as I worked on Saturday from 9:00 am until 4:30 pm to make up for one of the days I took off to spend with Rocío last week. The office was pretty quiet on Saturday morning, though a few more people came in the afternoon. Even in the afternoon though It was super empty compared to during the week. On Sunday I woke up around 10:00 am and I ran up to Tim Hortons. I scratched the lottery tickets I got from my grandmother and I won $ 20, so that was a nice win.
    I just basically stayed at home all day, and I even vacuumed some of the house. My grandmother came over and made beef stroganoff for dinner, so that was a nice meal. After dinner my family sung happy birthday and I was able to blow out all 28 candles in one blow, so my wish better come true ! I got quite a few things as I got $ 600 in cheques from family members, tennis balls from my brother, clothes, chocolate, and of course a gift certificate from Tim Hortons which is always useful.
    In the evening I went to Clayton Park and I played tennis with my brother for a while before heading home and walking up to the bank to deposit my cheques. Yesterday I worked from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm and I just headed home and did my usual things during the evening. I was able to get in touch with the Mexican consulate in Vancouver and I’ve set an appointment for Wednesday morning at 10:00 am. So I’ll have to miss half a day of work, though hopefully I can get there in time to start the 2nd half.
    I’ll have to bring a copy of the visa authorization form, my passport, 38 dollars to pay for the fees, photos of me, and I’ll have to fill out a form as well. Seeing as I need the photos by Wednesday morning and they are a different size than the passport photos, I’ll have to find a place that can take them for me tomorrow. I will call the local drugstore to see if they are able to do some that size, as I know they do passport photos, but if not I’ll have to try a photo place or at Wal-Mart. I definitely have to have everything 100 % ready for Wednesday morning.
    I have no idea at this point if it means that since I got the visa authorization that means it’s 100 % sure I can get the visa or not yet, or how long this whole next step will take, but I should find out a lot more on Wednesday morning as I will be going in for a sort of an interview. Right now it’s just nice to finally get past that authorization step as that took forever…. I am certainly hoping this next phase will be a lot quicker though.
    The weather has been nice and sunny and warm and around 22 C (72 F) the last few days so it’s been nice. From what I’ve seen it will be cloudier and wetter over the rest of the week, but it should be nice for the weekend. Of course it will be another one day weekend for me as I’ll be working another Saturday, but nothing I can do about that. As I’ve explained before I like my job for some reasons. The fact that there is no stress, and that it’s kept me very busy, and that I can get there fairly easier have all been nice, but one of the things I don’t like is all of the gossip.
    I’ve overheard a number of conversations of two employees talking about someone else, and sometimes I was just kind of sitting there listening to all of that. I just think it’s unfortunate that so many people there have nothing better to do but to talk about other people who work there. Everyone is going to be a bit different and do things in a different way, but that doesn’t mean they should be talked about and criticized.
    It’s amazing the kind of things that have been said though for offices, this kind of chatter is unfortunately all too common. I’ve worked in a number of other settings as well though, and there has always been some sort of gossip going on, or people talking to one another about another employee and how they think that person is, and what they don’t like about them. Sure not everyone is going to get along, but that doesn’t mean they need to be talking about the people they don’t really like all that much.
    There have been a number of employees over the years that I’ve worked with that I really didn’t like for whatever reasons, but I never talked about how I felt or what I thought about a person with another employee… I just think that’s unprofessional and not appropriate at all. And while I’m here I guess I can say some of the things that bug me ! There is a dress code at the office, and ties are required for men, yet so many of the guys there don’t really dress too appropriately. Sure they all have ties, but some of them have like almost jean-type pants on.
    And some of the girls there don’t even really dress up at all, so I highly think their fashion fits the mold for the kind of dress code that the office wants to have. And sometimes I see the employees sitting in the lunch room table, which is also used for filing purposes, and they just sit in there for hours, looking like they are working, but they are really just talking more than anything else. Some people even actually just sit around and talk more than work.
    So all I am saying is that I wish that a lot of these employees were more mature and stayed away from their endless chattering and gossiping about other employees. At the very least they should be like me here, criticize in a forum that is not connected to the work place, and don’t use any names ! So as nice as it would be to have a work place empty of gossip and people who just enjoy talking about others, I really think it would just be wishful thinking, unless a company really comes with a policy to stop that kind of chatter and gossip.
    So like usual, I will just go to work, mind my own business, and work away throughout the day, forced to hear the gossip of so many other people. If that’s all I can complain about though, I guess things aren’t all that bad. For the next question:
    Have you ever worked in a place that was full of gossip and people talking about co-workers ? Have you even been in a non-work related environment that was full of people gossiping and talking about others ?
    Well that’s all for today. I will leave you all with some pictures from Gold Creek Falls in Golden Ears Provincial Park. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Friday, bye for now.

  • Report # 1012

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all had a great week. The weekend will be super short for me this time around as I’ll be working today, my first day of work in place of the two days I took off to spend with Rocío. I’ve worked four days since she left and I definitely feel better now. Obviously I still miss her, but after the first full day I got over the sadness of her being gone and got back to carrying on with my life. I know that she had a great time while she was here and that she’s having an amazing time in Washington now and I’m sure meeting many other cool people, so I’m happy knowing that she is enjoying her trip so much and that she spent four days with me. They were an amazing four days and something I’ll remember for my whole life.

    One of the reasons I felt so sad was that I felt after Rocío left I had nothing more to look forward to. I was just working and I really had no plan for my life and once again I felt so alone. I’ve just come home from work, and had my Tim Hortons and continued seeing episodes of Cachito de Cielo, and just relaxing during the evenings. I will definitely have to get back to running again as I haven’t done that at all lately, aside from running up to Tim Hortons on Monday morning. Something very strange happened in these last few days, and I’m not sure if it was just a very odd coincidence or just something incredibly odd that happened.

    I was talking to a girl from Guadalajara on the internet and I was explaining to her about the whole situation with my work visa for Mexico. I had told her about how the process had been going on for so many months and that because I hadn’t received any news in over four months and that the lady from the company had not responded to my last two emails that I had really started to lose hope that I would ever get the work visa. She told me that she has a friend who works in the migration offices in Monterrey and that she would talk to him to find out what is happening. I told her I really didn’t think she would be able to find anything out, but she insisted on talking to her friend.

    I gave her my visa information and that day she talked with her friend. The following day she told me that her friend told her that I was about to get the visa authorization in the next day, and that I would have to go to the Mexican consulate in Vancouver sometime before June 27. All of this was so shocking to me as I couldn’t understand how this could be after not hearing anything for so long and how someone who I didn’t even know more than two weeks on the computer was able to find all of this information out. She even told me that she would try to call the lady from Teleperformance today as well.

    She wasn’t able to get a hold of the lady from Telepeformance, which didn’t surprise me as she always has been incredibly difficult to reach, but I got an email from that lady and she attached the visa authorization to the email, saying I have to make an appointment and go to the Mexican consulate in Vancouver sometime before June 27. I really couldn’t believe all of this had suddenly happened, just when I was at the point of literally giving up on any hopes of getting the visa. I have no clue if it was just a crazy coincidence that a person I happened to just talk to on the computer from Guadalajara who knew someone who worked at the migration offices in Monterrey really helped my case by talking to him or not… but wow what a story.

    Unfortunately I got all of this news this evening, and now the Mexican consulate in Vancouver is closed for the weekend, but I’ll definitely be calling them on Monday morning to see what I need to do and to set up an appointment. After waiting so very long for all of this, it has all come up so shockingly and so suddenly… I don’t even know what to think. Ultimately it was my goal to have an opportunity to live and work in Mexico, and I am now one step closer to doing that, so I am happy about that, it’s just unfortunate the way that things have worked out. Knowing what I know now, I probably should have left Mexico months earlier…. maybe the week before Christmas.

    If I had gotten home earlier, maybe I could have found a job here much faster, and I could have had an extra three or four months of working, plus the money I would have saved by not spending those last 2 months in Mexico, but obviously I can’t change that now. I just started working on May 21, not even a month ago, and depending on what happens, I might have to give my notice very soon. It’s unfortunate that I had spent so much money and not had a chance to make very much again, but I’ll just have to be very responsible with the money I do have when I go to Mexico. It would have been nice to have the over $ 9,000 like last time, but nothing I can do about it now.

    I will certainly not give my notice at work until I’m 100 % sure that I’ll get the work visa as I wouldn’t want to quit too far in advance. I am hoping that I’ll have enough time to give two weeks notice and spend a week in Calgary to visit with my grandmother and aunt before I go as well, but I’ll have to see what happens. As of right now, there is so much I don’t know, but I can imagine I’ll find out a lot more on Monday, or at least when I have the chance to go to the Mexican consulate in Vancouver. This is what I wanted, an opportunity, and I’m a step closer to that opportunity after so much time, so I am certainly happy, and very appreciative of all the work that people have done to help get me to this point.

    So I will have to wait a few days and see what is going to happen. There will be so much to think about, so much to plan, and so much to worry about…. but it has got me to a point I wanted to be at for so long, so I have to be ready ! Speaking of ready, I really wish someone would be ready to take down this awful house pictured below:

    This house is right beside a bunch of town homes that are being built at the corner of my street, yet it never gets torn down as it is supposedly some sort of heritage home. I don’t know if the politicians of my city know what the definition of heritage is, but this house surely doesn’t fit the bill. It’s somewhat old, but as I’ve always thought, just because something is old, doesn’t mean it’s worth keeping. This house has caught on fire a number of times, and is very much damaged, fixing it would not be cheap, and if it was fixed up, then it would be modernized, becoming even less than a heritage house than it already is.

    I’m all for cities preserving parts of their histories, but when something is really not that amazing and is more of an eye sore than a part of history, I think it just needs to go. I’m sure every city has some buildings like this one, but really with money being tight in so many places, I just don’t see any sense in using any of that money to preserve or fix up something that really isn’t breath taking in any sense of the word. So I vote to tear down this house and just move on and put effort into really promoting some better heritage sites, but seeing as this house has been standing there for so many years in such a decrepit condition long before I’ve lived in this neighbourhood, I doubt that’s going to happen…. one can only hope !

    For the next question:

    What does your city have in terms of heritage buildings or historical places ? In your opinion are they all really worth preserving, or are some of them better off being torn down ?

    Well that’s all I have today. I will leave you all with my pictures from Seattle last week. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Tuesday, bye for now.


  • Report # 1011

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all been having a fantastic week so far. I really enjoyed my four days with Rocío, and I only wish that we had even more time to spend together. I had no idea that we would have such a great time and that everything would be super amazing. On Sunday I had planned to go with Rocío to the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver as I hadn’t been there in so many years, but we ended up accompanying my brother. We stopped at a church to pick-up one of my brother’s friends, but we ended up going inside for a while and having lunch, as they were having a big lunch type buffet of food that everyone brought in.

    Rocío was telling me these kind of things don’t happen at the churches in Argentina, and I don’t really think they happen too much at the churches in Canada, but it was a baby shower for someone, so maybe that is why there was all of the food there. Rocío met some friends of my brother and a we talked to a bunch of other people in the church, so it was a pretty enjoyable afternoon. Rocío got along great with everyone, and people clearly were interested in knowing her… she even got invited to go to Alberta, though she was not able to stay long enough to take the lady up on the offer. After eating tons of food and talking to a bunch of people, Rocío and I went with my brother Jared and his friend Michael to Golden Ears Provincial Park.

    I had been to this park before about five years ago, but I hadn’t seen much of it, so it was definitely a great place to go. It was raining kind of hard as we were driving there, but by the time we arrived the rain had stopped, and the sun actually came out a little later. I took tons of pictures while we were walking, and I even filmed my brother’s friend a few times, as he was making some videos to apply for a job where they want someone who can speak Japanese and English. It was pretty cool seeing a white guy speaking in Japanese so well… that’s certainly not something that I’ll see again anytime soon. Rocío really enjoyed the park and she was having a great time. She actually really connected well with Michael as they both share the same type of musical interests. They are already Facebook friends, so they really got along great.

    After walking up to a beautiful waterfall, we headed back to the car and headed home. Rocío talked with my parents for a while and showed us all some pictures from all around Argentina. It’s such a beautiful country with a bit of everything…. I’d definitely love to go there one day super soon. We had a fire in the back yard later on Sunday evening and we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. A few more of my brother’s friends came over so we had a good crowd of people. Everyone was having a great time, so the camp fire was a real success. On Monday I woke up at 9:15 am and I ran up to Tim Hortons and had breakfast and talked to my grandmother all before Rocío got out of bed and had her shower. Rocío wanted to get a great sleep because the next day we both had to get up super early to go to the Greyhound station in downtown Vancouver.

    So on Monday we basically spent the day at home sun tanning, listening to some of the music from Rocío’s rock band, Dammit Janet, as well as some swimming and sitting in the sauna. Later in the day we walked up to Boston Pizza and had a huge dinner. Rocío was joking that I am trying to get her fat as we always seem to eat a lot of food. We shared an appetizer of honey garlic chicken wings, and then I had a pepperoni pizza, Rocío had a pasta, and we each had a delicious dessert as well. Of course we were super full after that huge meal. After dinner we walked home, taking a few more pictures along the way, and when we arrived, I helped Rocío with her laundry and getting things ready for Tuesday morning.

    While the laundry was finishing up we walked to the school that’s super close to the house, and sat down aside from the gravel field with a great view of all the farms and hills in the distance. I filmed a video of Rocío talking about her trip, and we just stayed and talk for a while, though not too long, as there were way too many mosquitoes. After heading home we basically got a few more things ready, and got into bed at around 10:45 pm. I set my alarm for 4:50 am yesterday morning, but I ended up just waking up myself around 4:35 am, so after a few minutes I got up and then got dressed in my work clothes, preparing a quick lunch to take with me.

    Rocío was all ready, so we got all of her luggage and we walked to the bus station and waited for about 10 minutes before the bus came and took us to the Skytrain station. The Skytrain took us to downtown Vancouver and we arrived at around 6:45 am, so we had plenty of time before her bus for Seattle would leave at 7:15 am. After checking in her luggage and filling out the custom forms we headed outside and talked for a while as we waited until Rocío had to board the bus. I had no idea how hard it would be too say good-bye as my eyes were filling with tears. We were hugging each other, and Rocío was telling me not to cry as it would make her cry, but I don’t think she would cry, as she is a pretty tough girl.

    I said good-bye to Rocío, waving as she walked to the back of the bus and I walked back into the Greyhound station heading to the bathroom before leaving. They were playing some type of Opera music that sounded super sad, so that really didn’t help with the mood. I got on the Sky Train and headed back to Surrey, and I was able to get into work 20 minutes early, so there was lots of time. I struggled with tears every time that I thought about Rocío and the times that we spent and how she had left, but I was able to hold myself together pretty well throughout the day. Work went by pretty quickly and I headed home after 5:00 pm, stopping at Tim Hortons on the way.

    It’s going to take me a day or two to strengthen up as right now I would totally start crying if I think about Rocío. Tonight as I get into bed I think I’ll just have to let it all out and hopefully I feel better. It was an amazing few days with her, and I will miss her a lot. We are great friends and I had no idea that things would go super well. And I don’t want to be sad and missing her, but I can’t help it… I do. It’s times like these I wish I was a lot stronger of a person, but clearly when it comes to saying good-bye to a special person, I can’t do it without getting incredibly sad. I’m sure that everything will be ok, it will just take me some time. Rocío will have another week of her trip in Washington State, and I’m sure she’ll have a wonderful time there.

    I’ll be incredibly busy the rest of the month working almost everyday as I need to make up the two Saturdays that I missed, so hopefully I won’t have time to be sad after I let everything out tonight. I am super happy that I had an opportunity to meet Rocío and spend a day with her in Seattle and have her at the house for three days. I know that she had a good time and that she is happy, and she met a number of cool friends along the way, so I need to not be sad. I will do my best to toughen up, but unfortunately this time I just don’t have any toughness and I’ve been emotionally weak…. it will just take some time. Anyways that’s about all that I’ve been up to over the last few days. For the next question:

    Are you an emotionally strong person, or do you show emotions and get sad a little too easy ?

    I will get the pictures ready to start sharing next time. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Saturday, bye for now.


  • Report # 1010

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all been having a super long weekend. The last few days have gone by extremely quickly as I’ve done so much, but they’ve all been enjoyable days. I worked on Thursday from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm, and I headed home, stopping at Tim Hortons on the way. After heading home and eating, I vacuumed the entire house as I wanted to get everything cleaned up for the arrival of Rocío my Argentinian friend. I was up way too late on Thursday night, and I didn’t get into bed until 12:30 am. I had planned to get up around 5:00 am on Friday morning, but Shelby was meowing at 4:00 am, so I just ended up getting up and having a shower at that time.

    I took off my sheets on my bed, though I didn’t get around to putting new ones on yet as it was so early in the morning and my parents were still sleeping and I didn’t want to wake them up. I got out of the house after 5:00 am, and I caught the bus on the street corner and headed down to catch the Skytrain to get to downtown Vancouver to get to my Greyhound bus. I stopped at Tim Hortons and grabbed a bagel and some hashbrowns and a small iced cappuichino and walked over to the Pacific Central station and waited for the Greyhound bus to arrive. I boarded the bus at around 7:00 am and shortly after we had headed off.

    It’s unfortunate I had to get up super early to go all the way downtown to catch the bus because it comes all the way back through my neighbourhood to pass the border, and it would be so much easier if they had a stop much closer, but nothing I can do to change that. The bus arrived at the border around 8:30 am and I was just asked a few basic questions and that was it. We had to wait on the bus for a while after as one person was really taking a long time to get through. The border guards must have been suspicious about something, though he did eventually get through and the bus was able to take off.

    Since a bridge had collapsed on the main highway in Washington State near Mount Vernon, we had to take a detour, and there was a lot of traffic, so the bus ended up being about 40 minutes late. This wasn’t a problem though as I was able to send Rocío a text and let her know that I would be arriving late. The bus got into Seattle at 12:15 pm and I ran inside and saw Rocío right away. We gave each other a big hug and then we headed outside and started walking around Seattle. Like I always do when I’m in cities, I started taking tons of pictures; I took around 150 I belief by the time we had finished exploring the city for the day.

    We had lunch at Red Robin and we walked at a park by the water, through a bunch of downtown streets, by a music museum, and a cool place with a giant fountain in the middle where a lot of people were playing in the water. It was a super cloudy day, but it didn’t feel that cool as it was probably around 20 C (68 F). We went into a building downtown that had a food court and we ended up having some ice cream and fudge. Afterwards we walked for a few more hours before making our way back to the Greyhound station.

    We still had over two hours before the bus was to leave, so we tried to leave Rocío’s bags in a locker, but we couldn’t figure out how it worked. Apparently we had locked her bags in a locker that had been paid for by someone else, though had been empty and not closed. We finally were able to find a guy who could open it for us, and wow was he grumpy. We both were not impressed with his rudeness, though we spent the next day joking about him a lot. We ended up just keeping the bags and when we tried to get out of the Greyhound station, the door wouldn’t open, so I joked that the man didn’t want us to leave, though when someone from the outside came in, we headed outside.

    We walked a couple of blocks and then we just had something to eat at a sandwich shop. I was telling Rocío how I didn’t think the type of music they were playing would attract all that many clients as it was some hardcore metal music… the sandwiches were good though. We both had some problems with our sandwiches though as I ate too much bread and all the meat fell out, and Rocío put mayonnaise on her sandwich even though it already had so much; she didn’t know there was any on it ! These kind of things are so silly, but little fun things that I think we’ll both remember for a while, so nice little memories that we have been creating.

    We have certainly ate a lot of food in two days, but we have walked for hours and hours both days, so we’ve certainly been getting a lot of exercise. We got on the bus to go to Canada at 9:50 pm on Friday night and as we were both super tired we tried sleeping during the trip, and it ended up going by pretty fast. I was worried how things would go at the Canadian border, and just as I imagined, it was a bit of a challenge, as after talking to one guy, we had to go to the back for further questioning. I told Rocío that I wanted to go to Seattle so I could come back with her to Canada and make things easier at the border, but I think I ended up making things harder.

    The border guard noticed that I was extremely nervous, which I always am when at those customs places, but he just didn’t know why I looked so nervous. After answering all of his questions though and explaining to him that I’m normally nervous in those situations, he finally let us both come into Canada. I was so relieved as I was the one who wanted Rocío to come and spend some days here with me, and had they not let us in, I would have been extremely disappointed. It was just kind of funny that Rocío was laughing so much yesterday about what happened at the border and how well my “help” worked out; Clearly she would have done better by herself !

    I called my dad and he said that he would come and pick us up. I told the Greyhound driver that we would just get off the bus here as it would be much closer for us to head home that way instead of going all the way to downtown Vancouver and he was ok with that. So we got outside of the customs building and walked a few blocks and waited until my dad came and picked us up. By the time we had arrived home, it was almost 2:00 am and we were both exhausted. I had only slept about 3.5 hours the previous night, and Rocío had only slept two hours, as she had gone to a party in Seattle.

    After making sure everything was comfortable for her, we finally got to bed at around 2:00 am. Rocío told me to wake her up at 10:30 am if she wasn’t awake yet, so after getting up at 10:15 am yesterday morning and having a shower I woke her up, and she got ready for the day. While Rocío was having a shower and getting ready, I was able to get all of my Seattle photos uploaded, so that was nice. Rocío talked to my parents, and met my brother, who interestingly gave her a hug and we left the house a little after 12:00 pm. We stopped for something to eat at Tim Hortons, and after we had headed outside to wait for the bus, which arrived right away.

    I had my iced cappuichino which I had only finished half of, but the bus driver told me I had to throw it out. I know there is a no food rule on the bus, but I was still super surprised as I had taking my drink on the bush soooooooo many times in the last year and a half, and I had never been asked once to throw out my drink before. Luckily I had never seen that bus driver before, and seeing as I don’t normally take the bus on Saturdays, I am hopeful I won’t have to see him on the weekdays while I get on the bus after going to Tim Hortons on the way home from work.

    We took the bus to the Skytrain station and then took the Skytrain to downtown Vancouver and we started another day of tons of walking. We walked around Coal Harbour and all the way through Stanley Park and a number of the main downtown streets in Vancouver. We stopped in a few stores, and even watched some live performances by some musical artists from India performing by the Vancouver Art Gallery, so that was super cool. While we were walking on Robson Street, Rocío saw a suitcase that was originally like 120 dollars selling for 35 dollars. It was larger than the one she had been using, and she really liked it, so she bought it. We then walked to Robson Sushi, a Japanese restaurant and had a nice all you can eat dinner.

    We each ordered like 15 different things, so we were both super full afterwards. We had eaten everything from California rolls to sashimi, chicken teriyaki, spring rolls, and noodles, so it was an amazing meal. I had eaten at that restaurant a number of times before, but not for about two years, so it was nice to go there again. After dinner I picked up a Blizzard from Dairy Queen and we slowly made our way back to the Skytrain station to get back to Surrey and take the bus home. We got home around 11:45 am, so much earlier than the previous night.

    I think we both feel even more tired tonight than we did last night, I know I do anyways, and as soon as I get this posted, I’m going right to bed. Rocío will be here today and all day tomorrow and she’ll be catching a bus to Seattle early on Tuesday morning to spend one more week there before flying back to Argentina. She has been in the west coast of North America for almost a month and she has already seen Washington, Oregon, California, and now British Columbia, so she has done extremely well. I am very happy that I am having the opportunity to spend some days with her as she is a very cool person, and it’s just been great to spend time with someone, since I don’t think I’ve done so in like a month !

    We have talked in English and Spanish, and we’ve helped each other out a lot, so it’s been great for the both of us. And Argentinians have such a nice accent, so I really have enjoyed listening to her talk as well. So I am looking forward for these next two days, and then it will be back to work, and I better be ready, as I’ll be working eleven out of the next twelve days. Anyways I’m exhausted so I’m going to bed now. For the next question:

    Have you met any super cool people lately ? What were they like ?

    I hope that everyone enjoys the rest of the weekend. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Wednesday, bye for now.

  • Report # 1009

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all been having an awesome week. I’ve worked Monday through Wednesday from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm, and I’ve basically just stopped from Tim Hortons on the way home each day, and did a few things which I normally do in the evening. I got myself running this week, as I ran on Monday and Tuesday night, so at least I got out a couple of times. I’m feeling pretty tired which is because I always have a tough time getting in bed before midnight. Since I don’t sleep so well, I have not been getting enough sleep. As I’m typing this before I go to bed, I hope that I will get into bed by 11:00 pm tonight and fall asleep easily.

    I will need to get a good sleep tonight as I’ll be getting up super early on Friday morning. I have booked Friday and the coming Monday off from work, though I’ll be compensating those two missed days by working two Saturdays this month… the 15th and the 22nd. I have a friend From Argentina who has been traveling through the western part of the US in Washington, Oregon and California. I suggested to her that since she’ll be so close she should come and visit for a few days and get to know Vancouver as well.

    So tomorrow morning, I will have go get up super early to be downtown and catch a Greyhound bus departing from Vancouver at 7:15 am. I will arrive in Seattle at 11:35 am, and I’m hoping my Argentinian friend and I will spend the day in Seattle, and then taking a Greyhound bus back to Vancouver on Friday night. I will just take my camera and I’m guessing that we will walk around downtown Seattle for the day and just do as much as we can there before we catch the bus that leaves for Vancouver at 9:50 pm.

    We would arrive in downtown Vancouver at 2:00 am, so after sleeping, we will basically have three days together before my friend will head back to Seattle for a while longer, and eventually fly back to Argentina. While she is in Vancouver we will probably spend a lot of time downtown and maybe check out some parks and well whatever she wants to do, since she will be the special guest. I’m super excited because I have talked with her for a year and I’ve never personally met anyone from Argentina in my life, so it will be a fun few days.

    Of course with these type of planned things, there are always worries about if everything will work out perfectly or if there will be some unseen problems, but I will think positive and I hope that everything works out just perfectly. It will be amazing to meet someone from a country I’ve never met anyone from before, and having the opportunity to have 3 days to spend with a super cool person that I’ve known for a year. It will definitely be a fun weekend, and I can’t wait ! I certainly will be paying the price for taking tomorrow and the following Monday off though. I will have to work 11 out of the next 12 days after June 10, so I will be super busy.

    This will be ok though, as I had over 9 months of no work, so now that I’ve finally been working again, I certainly can’t complain about having too many days of work. While I was on the bus on Monday afternoon I was reading my emails and one of them was a comment on my last blog. I was reading the comment when I came to the realization that something was going to be happening with Xanga. I checked the Xanga main page and I got the story that everyone else get, that Xanga is on its’ last legs.

    While I admit I am pretty surprised by this news, I’m not shocked. In fact I sort of wondered about how well Xanga was doing in the past, and I kind of sensed the shipping was sinking. Like any good captain though, I didn’t let any of my thoughts of Xanga’s downfall get to me, and I’ve stuck with Xanga, despite musing in the past of maybe calling it quits after my 1000th blog post. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next month and a bit, but in all honestly, I expect it to be the end for Xanga. I believe that I’ve done my part, as I’ve been subscribing yearly to Xanga Premium, and later on Premium plus, for over seven years, so I’ve paid my fair share to support this site.

    If everyone who blogs on Xanga even donated just one dollar, that would probably be enough to keep the site going, but as easy as that sounds to do, I just don’t see the majority of Xanga users doing something like that. So I will continue posting blogs and commenting every three days as usual until the end comes, which they are saying will be on July 15. While there is certainly a chance that Xanga will be help to keep operating beyond that date, I’m certainly not going to hold my breath. So while the news that I found out on Monday was a bit sad, I think I would be at peace with it being the end if it truly is.

    I’ve devoted over eight years of my life to this site and unlike most people I can say I’ve always updated regularly, and never even missed any blog posts. Sure some people have been around longer than I have, but a lot of them had some long periods between posts, and they certainly didn’t keep up their sites all too often at times. So basically I am ready for whatever will happen, no matter what that will be. If Xanga decides it’s time to close the doors, I’ll accept that fate and just continue on with my life. I thought about maybe starting a new blog on another site, but it just wouldn’t be the same. After posting over 1000 entries, I really wouldn’t have the desire to start over, unless there was a way to move all of my blog entries to another site and just start over there.

    So basically I can say, if Xanga will be done by July 15, then so will I. I might decide to post the odd opinion piece on Facebook, but it certainly wouldn’t be an every three day thing like I was doing on Xanga… it just wouldn’t be the same. I definitely have no problem staying in touch with anyone who would like to stay in touch of me beyond Xanga’s potential demise, so there is no real problem. While it would be super strange to not post a blog after July 15 and end a streak that I’ve kept up for over 8 years, everything comes to an end eventually… that I always new.

    Of course a lot of this is just speculation. Obviously I have no idea what will happen in the next month or some, so for now it’s just continuing on until July 15 and then I suppose on the day of the 15th of July, I will have to post one last blog, but for now it’s just business as usual. Like everything, I can see positive and negatives out of this news. I would certainly have more time, and it would be nice not having to force myself to blog, but I do think having a blog has helped me a lot over the years, and I’ve got to know many cool people, so it would certainly be a bit sad knowing that it’s all ending.

    As for now, we all just have to keep going forward and posting our blogs when we want, and come July 15, we should all know what will be happening and we’ll all have to accept what happens, no matter if we like it or not. For the next question:

    Were you surprised to hear the news about Xanga possibly shutting down ? If Xanga does shut down, do you have plans to start up a new blog on another site, why or why not ?

    I wish everyone all of the best with everything. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Sunday, bye for now.


  • Report # 1008

    Hey everyone, I hope that you’ve all had an awesome weekend and are ready for a great first week of June. Finally the weather here has brightened up and brought some summery type days, though it was a real struggle to get there. After a cool and sopping wet last week of May, there was finally some sun on Friday afternoon. It was pouring again on Friday morning while I was working, but by the time I got off work, it was a super nice day. While I was on the bus on the way home an older guy was talking on his cell phone in Spanish to his daughter. It was kind of cool to listen in to the conversation ! I was going to ask him where he was from later on, but from what they were talking about, it sounded like he was Colombian.

    On the way home I stopped at Tim Hortons like always, and then I just ate and studied French for a bit, watched an episode of Cachito de Cielo, and just relaxed for the rest of the night. I ran to Tim Hortons on Saturday morning and later in the day I ran with Parker and I walked with Molly. They both had there exercise again on Sunday, and I ran to Tim Hortons once again in the morning, and I even ran a bit after walking Molly to take a picture of an old house that I want to show everyone for a future blog post. So this weekend I definitely made up for my running; The challenge will be to keep it going this week. Yesterday was the nicest day in a long time as it ended up being super sunny and 21 C (70 F) and from what I’ve seen the weather will be very decent over the next two weeks with no more rain for a while.

    I did manage to take some more pet pictures, so I will share some of the dogs and the cats. The first two are of Parker, then Molly, Shelby, Bentley, and Chance. Here they are:

    So today once again I have to talk about guns ! It seems this has been an ongoing topic, but with all of the incredibly ridiculous things that I’ve been reading, and the outrageous things people have been saying, I just felt I had to comment. I’m going to start with comments from a Sheriff in Milwaukee who put an ad on the radio with his voice saying the following:

    “I need you in the game. With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option. You can beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back. Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can defend yourself until we get there.” – Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr.

    Now I’ll be the first to say, if someone is being threatened and there only option between life and death is to do something to defend themselves, then yes, they should have every right to do something to defend themselves. Having a sheriff put an ad like this on the radio is very troubling however, as I just think it will encourage too many people deciding to take care of things themselves, and I have a feeling the sheriff’s suggestion, if followed by many people, would lead to more problems than solutions. Some people would overreact in certain situations and end up blowing the brains out of a petty small time thief.

    Of course anyone who has invaded someone’s home is clearly breaking the law, but this doesn’t mean they warrant being completely killed by a resident, unless they clearly are as suggested a violent criminal who clearly would have no problem harming the residents. The ad just makes it sound like the police are shirking their responsibility and not only is what this sheriff is suggesting a completely dangerous idea, he is showing no lack of leadership, and I think if that’s the best idea he has for the people of Milwaukee, he should step aside and let someone else step in who clearly has some better ideas.

    Next up I will move on to Arizona where I read that a program has started where free guns are being passed along to residents in Tuscon, the same city where almost two and a half years ago, there was a shooting that killed six people. I’ll never understand why so many people think putting more guns out there will decrease gun violence… if anything it will increase gun violence. With this sort of program, guns will be put in the hands of some people who really shouldn’t have them to begin with. They may not necessarily be criminals, but they could be people with anger problems, or just the type of people who shoot first and ask questions later…. and we all know there are no shortage of those types of people.

    They may be parents, whose irresponsible and negligent parenting leads the guns getting into the hands of children who “play” with them, leading to an extremely unfortunate and devastating tragedy of having a sibling or family member die because a kid was handling what they think is a toy. And these stories do happen ! Someone just has to google stories to do with this and I’m sure they’d find several examples. And even though the program does background checking, that doesn’t keep guns out of people who would be irresponsible with handling them, have any sort of anger problems, or could be the type of people who think first and ask questions later.

    The program itself is a horrible idea, and to think that it is funded by people who made donations…. all I can say is wow. With so many important causes in this world to support, to know that some people have decided to put their money into a program promoting the distribution of guns is just extremely disappointing. From what I’ve read there are people split on both sides of this issue, so there will thankfully be opponents putting the heat on the one’s who support this program, I just hope it doesn’t really go through as it would just end up being a disaster with dire consequences.

    Even stupider is what I read in the paper a few months ago about a town in Georgia that has made up a law that says that it would be against the law to not own a gun. From what I’ve read the town of Nelson, Georgia is a safe place, so I have no clue why something like this would pop up. I suppose it’s just connected to all the talk about guns lately, and people there are just jumping on the bandwagon. From what I read, the law wouldn’t really be enforced, so it just seems that it will be some sort of symbolic piece of legislation used to encourage the towns’ residents to buy a gun.

    Lastly, here is a comment from National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre:

    “How many Bostonians whish they had a gun two weeks ago ? How many other Americans now ponder that life or death question ?”

    Can someone please tell me how guns would have helped prevent the Boston Marathon tragedy ? I really don’t get it ! To be honest I think if all of the people there were carrying fire arms, the chaos would have been even worse as some people would probably have gotten all defensive and suspicious and started firing shots in a terrified and crazed way. It’s these types of comments such as the one made by Mr. LaPierre that just make no sense. They want to make their case for guns, yet what they say in support of what they believe in, really doesn’t back up anything… it’s just a plain ridiculous comment, and I’m sure there are many more from members of the NRA and gun fanatics in general.

    Today I’ve provided what are a bunch of stories of just people taking things way too far in support of gun rights. At the end of the day these people want what everyone else wants I would think, and that’s to be able to live safely. Unfortunately these people have let their extremist views on gun ownership completely blind and common sense they may have had. All I can say is that I really hope for the safety of many people, that these extremist views don’t push ahead, because if they do, I just fear that there will be more violence than there already is, and that is something that no one wants. While then, maybe finally all the gun advocates and NRA extremists would understand their crazy ideas are actually contributing to the additional surge in gun violence, it would be such a tragedy to have to go very horrific and unfortunate events to get them to come to that view point.

    Even in that case though, I highly doubt those gun advocates will ever change their beliefs. They are forever blinded by their love of guns and how they truly believe that owning a gun is such a right and such a duty, that they will never be able to truly understand how wrong they are with the agenda that they are pushing. So as I read about ludicrous laws being passed regarding the owning of guns, sheriffs telling people to basically get a gun and fend for yourself, and free guns being passed around like candy, all I can think about is how many tragedies will come forward in the future.

    The saddest thing of all is that they would have been entirely preventable and avoidable, but the arrogance, the ignorance, and the narrow-mindedness of the gun lovers’ agenda will have led to that. Unless these people come to their senses, which I highly doubt, all I can say is that those gun supporting advocates and politicians, the sheriffs only to keen to encourage the use of guns, and the parents too negligent and irresponsible that allow the guns in the house to get in the hands of their children, will be in a way responsible for what could and unfortunately will happen. When tragic happenings due to the irresponsible and stupid use of guns take place…. the blood will be on all of the hands of all of those people, and that is something they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.

    For the next question:

    What do you think about these measures that are promoting the ownership and use of firearms ?

    I hope that everyone has an amazing start to the week. Take care and I’ll talk to you all on Thursday, bye for now.

    Sources: Surging NRA not giving up ‘one inch’ in battle. By Nick Allen, London Daily Telegraph. The Vancouver Sun, May 6, 2013.

    Wisconsin sheriff tells residents that calling 911 is ‘no longer your best option,’ urges them to learn to use guns., associated press. January 26, 2013.

    Plan to hand out free shotguns in Tucson stirs debate. By Judson Berger. March 28, 2013

    Georgia town passes law requiring everyone to own a gun. By Lindsay Jolivet. Daily Buzz. April 2, 2013.