Friday, July 29, 2005

Cross Cultural Training

Today i filled out a questionaire for my two day cross cultural training session. i really started to think about it, and I figured I had a heads up on the whole culture thing because, well, i'm half Mexican. I'm late for everything, like bright vibrant colors, love Mexican food, and love my gigantic family.

But really, if you think about it, I don't know beans in China about anything! I have a good handle on the value of family and the generosity of the culture, but besides that, NADA! Because we're Mexican American - and thats very different from being straight from the mother land (although neither is bad nor worse, even though the two groups did NOT get along in Denver). So, before where I was kind of blowing off the whole cross cultural training thing, I think I might actually get something out of it.

When it comes down to it, although I'm proud to be a brown peoples, I'm American.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


Happy Birthday Euni!

As Real As It Gets

Over the past few days it has been a whirlwind of relocation information. The authorization finally went through and a flurry of calls have been coming in every hour it seems like. There is one company, SIRVA, which is coordinating everything, but I also have to deal directly with thier providers for specific services.

So far, I've talked to
  • Latin American Relocation
  • World Pet Transport
  • North American Vanlines
  • Home sale people
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers for tax stuff

and its only been a couple of days! To say the least, its been rather taxing, and exhausting. I realize that all these steps and preparation are necessary, and it will make the transition to Mexico as smooth as possible, and it will all pay off in the end. But really, it is sheer madness in just trying to coordinate everything. The worst part is the emotional aspect seems to be taking a toll as well......Its really happening! Dealing with the stress of it all is just making my emotions go up and down and round and round. Its like PMS, but way WAY worse. The ups and downs just helps to reinforce the fact that this trip is way Real. and I'm sure its going to get worse before it gets better!

Part of the emotinoal rollercoaster I'm sure is my life outside of the relocation. There are things in this life that I currently have that I am looking forward to leaving behind; but there are others that it just breaks my heart to have to say goodbye.

I suppose though you need a little heartbreak to make the great things in life shine a little brighter; so you can appreciate them more.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Anguish for naught

So, last week was a much needed and much deserved break from the craziness of Metro Detroit. I will say I really do adore the upper west coast of Michigan. People there are so nice, and the customers are way cool too. They don't often give me the willies as some people do here in Detroit. Sometimes I wonder how illegal they are....

Anywho, down to business. We did finally get a good campsite at Platte River Campground, after my dear father drove two hours like five times to wait in line and transfer to a site with electricity and hook and unhook the camper. I felt bad that when we did get our final site on Thursday that I couldn't stick around to unpack. But, at least they have been camping for the last millenium it seems (or last month, whatever), so I'm prety sure they have a system and I'd end up just slowing them down anyway.

Pat O'Brien and I met up in G-Rap on Thursady night. Luckily, we were able to meet up with Keith and Kyle. Their phones were turned off, supposidly because Kyle forgot to pay the bill - but Keith paid it and called right away. Anywho, we went to the bar with Keith and Kyle - or rather went to B-Dubs for some wings and beer, then went to a piano bar afterwards with Keith and pals. Kyle went home because he had to work at the ass crack of dawn. I was actually pretty proud of him! We got up early Friday morning and headed back up north.

I didn't get nervous until we actually were in the campground. I actually felt like I was going to barf. Its been a long time since I brought someone to meet my parents; let alone to meet under wierd circumstances. Turns out Pat O'Brien was petrified too, although he didn't let much show because he's way too macho for that :)

Turns out all that anguish was for naught. After the initial introduction, things went pretty smoothly. I think my mom and dad were prepared for it to be pretty strange and uncomfortable, but it really wasn't. Pat O'Brien just fits so well.....I also think it helped that he really gets along well with my brothers, so it was very easy to just hang out. He even took an early float on the river with just Keith and Kyle while the girls went to TC to score some more INNER TUBES.

Karli took a liking to him too. She even called him ahead of time to warn him - or rather tell him not to worry if my parents were wierd. She also proceeded to kick his ass in many different card games. Its pretty funny to watch a guy of his stature get his ass handed to him by an 85 lb teeniebopper.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

My Favorite Things

So I'm headed out on a well deserved break from reality for a few days......actually I'm going to, as I often do, combine work with pleasure. It often works in my favor!

For instance, I'm headed this afternoon to Traverse City and staying the night so I can meet with my sales guy, Ken "The Colonel" Foster, there tomorrow morning for breakfast. Then we'll go out and meet with a few customers. The kicker is that my parents and Karli are meeting me tonight at the hotel, and mooching off my free hotel room. Then tomorrow they'll set up camp while I'm working and I'll hang out with them until Sunday. It works out quite well to have customers in upper Michigan in the summer time!

Keith and Kyle are going to head up on Friday as well, and we'll have a fabulous time at the Sleeping Bear Dune National Lakeshore - one of my favorite places on earth. I'm sure the weekend will include hiking, floating down a river, imbibing in adult beverages, campfires and smores. Theres not much else I really need!

There's also someone else heading up this weekend meet the family for the first time......The engineer (a Professional Engineer, not unlike Brad Pitt in Mr. & Mrs. Smith - except for he's not an assasin for hire, I don't think) who works for our company in Chicago, Pat O'Brien, has been a very good friend of mine over the course of our professional careers - about five-ish years or so. Recently, we've discovered that the base of our friendship provided a rather natural, yet unexpected, progression into a romance. So, he gets to brave the waters and meet the clan, all at once! He's already spent a little time with my brothers........and they I have no doubt that the rest of my family will be open to his incredibly charming personality :)

I may or may not be updating while I'm gone - unless miraculously I have a wireless internet connection in the campground (which isn't out of the question with all the upgrades they've done over the years). Regardless, all the juicy details will be posted on Monday.

Until then......

Monday, July 18, 2005

Summer and Friends

One of the things I despise most about being an adult is the inability of myself (and others, I'm sure) to make time for friends. It seems that summertime, a time when you're supposed to be enjoying the company of others, is most difficult.

I know my situation is compounded by getting the house ready for sale, selling our personal belongings, making sure everything is set - but there was so much I wanted to do this summer that I'm not sure if I'll be able to.

Most of the stuff is frivolous, but there are some really important people in my life that I don't know if I'll be able to see before I go. And now, even though I might have more time before I leave, these two women might even begin new journeys in thier lives before I go - which means I have even less time than I thought.

So, I will mention them here, in cyberspace, even though they might not see it.

Beth - even if you feel like your loosing your mind with your own crazy summer schedule - I'm so proud of the decisions you've made in your life as of late. Israel is going to be kick ass - and an opportunity you will NEVER regret, even if you don't have your life planned out after you get back stateside. Expatriates ROCK! Thanks for being there to listen to me bitch, and for letting me live vicariously through you!

Gena - I'm sooooooo excited for you and your new opportunity in Las Vegas (no, she's not going to be a showgirl, although she'd make a DAMN fine one if she was!). I'm so proud that you've taken control and begun to steer your own destiny. Thanks always for loving me and standing by me, even if you don't understand my decisions. I'd say that I'd miss you, but Vegas is closer than Saginaw to Mexico City, so hopefully plane fares will be cheaper and I'll still get to see you :)

I LOVE YOU GIRLS SO MUCH! Go forth and kick ass - we will take over the world!

A different perspective

A friend of mine is writing a book on scrapbooking, specifically relating to homes and houses. She asked me to compose a two page spread for the book, knowing my crazy mad scrapbooking skillz. Not an unusual request.

The twist - the spread has to be about my home, but more so about how I feel about it now that I'm divorcing, and moving to Mexico.

I went to the house yesterday to take pictures when Troy wasn't there, and it was an erie experience. I initally thought that I had no emotional attachment to the house because we were planning on leaving anyway. But as I went through each room and took pictures, I began to think of many different things - and even more emotions came to the surface. And yes, it did involve crying :)

I essentially started to look at things not for what they were, or what took place in them, but for what DIDN'T happen. Like our front porch with two chairs on it - that we never took the time to sit in and enjoy each other and our neighborhood. Or our kitchen, which we never found time to cook together. As I walked through, it became not a house, but a reminder of all the things that went wrong in our marriage.

Although it was our first real home - it was the first place we stayed at for more than a year - it just felt empty. The house was filled with all kinds of "stuff", material things, items we wanted or just had to have; but it was empty. Kind of like our marriage.

Funny how a seemingly simple exercise can change your perspective on things. I don't think I'll look at that house the same. And now, I'm even more anxious to sell it.

Friday, July 15, 2005

End of an era

Last week was a pretty intense week for me. Offer letter, divorce, blah blah blah.

All in all, everything went according to plan. By the way, its no wonder why we have lawyers! It takes someone just a little bit crazy to be able to deal with people in the court system. They were less than pleasant, and not helpful at all in any sense of the word!

Anyway, I've been going to our house to help Troy clean so it will be ready for sale as soon as all the relocation paperwork is started. Most of the time we get along pretty well, but, lets just say there are moments when we really want to ring each other's neck! Last night wasn't quite one of those times. I'm not sure if it was because I was emotional (God, I love being a woman) or what, but we cleaned a couple rooms and sat down to watch a movie. I brushed Samsons hair out (he was looking pretty scraggley), and it felt, well, normal. After I left last night it was the first time that I actually missed Troy. There wasn't any negative energy or was a very strange feeling.

Don't get me wrong, I don't regret my decision for a bit. I know that it is the right thing for us to not be together. I guess for a minute there I just remembered why we were together in the first place.

We're not in Kansas anymore........

So, visiting the Center for Disease Control website is crazy enough to make anyone think the second they travel to another country they're going to die of dengae fever or bubonic plague. Seriously, not a happy place to visit for someone who is a hypochondriac like myself!

I had to go to the website, , to see which vaccinations I needed. Right on the travellers page, it says "4 - 6 weeks prior to your departure, arrange to have the following vaccinations". Well, I'm approximately 4 - 6 weeks out, maybe even 8 - so I thought I was in good shape.

Apparantly not.

I called the health department (because my insureance doesn't cover the vaccinations I need) and apparantly both hepititis A & B are a 6 MONTH series! SIX MONTHS! Sorry CDC, but thats a lot longer than 4 - 6 weeks! Anywho, I'll be able to get the first two, but I'll have to either finish the series in Mexico or when I come back for visits. I'm also supposed to update my tetanus and get one for yellow fever, or typhoid fever, or dengae fever - or who the heck knows what kind of fever. This will be a huge task for someone who is deathly afraid of needles. I wish they could give a nasal "shot" like they do for dogs and the bordatella vaccine. I'd be ALL about that!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Selling our lives away

Since we're both going to be starting over, we decided to have a few garage sales and to sell the jeep and to sell most of our fish tank stuff. Over the course of the past few weeks we've been doing that - and although it got off to a slow start, its ended up quite well.

We sold the jeep last weekend to a man (ironically) who lives in Denver. He drove out and essentially bought it on the spot.

We have sold the majority of our fish tanks, corals, live rock and fish. There are a few left - and hopefully the buyer who is interested will purchase our last tank this weekend.

In our garage sale, we sold clothes, furniture, dishes, etc. We held it on three saturdays, and really cleaned house. Its funny though, seeing everything out on little tables. You get a real feel for how much crap you accumulate - and how little of it all matters.

We spent so much of our time worrying about items - things - material things. things that we wanted and needed, things that looked cool or improved our status. But, as soon as it came down to us not being together anymore, so little of it actually mattered. Don't get me wrong, we still have plenty of crap, and the house is in chaos, but it felt sooooo good to purge.

And, all the extra cash certainly didn't hurt, either :)

OK, so its been a month

Alright, so I haven't been very diligent about keeping people abreast of things in my life. Its not intentional - I have a few other priorities right now. However, I do seem to be gathering a bit more control of my life, so maybe I'll have a bit more time to re-dedicate myself to this.

So, here's the scoop on Mexico. I signed my Offer Letter to work in Mexico last week. Thursday, Troy and I signed our official Marital Settlement Agreement and Divorce Complaint documents, and we officially filed for Divorce on Friday. Last week was a big week!

There still isn't an official start date for me in Toluca quite yet. It still depends on when they hire a replacement and when my visa documentation goes through. Although at this point, it doesn't really matter. I'd like to say my start date will probably be at the beginning of September / end of August. I'm just hoping all our court documents are pushed through by then - and hopefully our house will sell by then too.