Thursday, July 31, 2008

And the US Main Goverment continues denying it! Recession is here

NY gov slashes spending; state said in "recession"

From the above linked article:

New York, which faces a steep budget deficit due to declining tax revenues, will slash spending by $630 million by laying off workers, imposing a hiring freeze and other measures, Gov. David Paterson said on Wednesday.

The state's budget director, Laura Anglin, said New York is "officially" in a recession, noting that the state's five last contractions averaged 25 months, more than double the national average of 11 months.

Aqui esta la noticia en español:

El estado de Nueva York se declaró en recesión

A Growing Trend of Leaving America

By some estimates 3 million citizens become expatriates a year, but most not for political reasons

US News and World Report has reported on the same subject of my previous post from earlier today:

American dream, changing to the American Nightmare.

Well it's not exactly the same, but still goes to the same end. Americans leaving USA to live abroad permanently.

Like I said, Riquelme.....

Like I said couple of posts back. Juan Roman Riquelme is becoming the star of Argentina's National Futból team. I guess the Argentines agree based on the following article:

Argentina estará atada al humor de Riquelme en Pekín

Los cambios de humor de Riquelme suelen influenciar al equipo entero y cuando tiene uno de sus tristemente célebres días malos, Argentina lo sufre.

What the heck? They did not know?

Huh! Why is it that we have to be RETOLD what we already know? Do they live in the same USA I do? I think they don't.

Growth weaker than hoped; economy shrinks in Q4

From the article linked above:

The country didn't get the energetic rebound in economic growth hoped for from the government's tax rebates in the second quarter, and the economy jolted into reverse at the end of 2007, raising new recession fears.

In my opinion, they are just coming to the realization that they cannot possibly hide the sun with one finger anymore. We are all very intelligent and smart.

American dream, changing to the American Nightmare.

I guess some people are finally openly acknowledging, what I noticed about 6 months ago. The massive amounts of what they call "illegal immigrants" (which are only people that most likely DID enter the country legally, just over extended their visas, I personally know many of these) that have chosen to leave America (specifically North America = USA) The Beautiful, to return to their mother country.

From the article that is linked above:
Washington - Some 1.3 million illegal immigrants have left the United States since Congress failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform in the summer of 2007. If the trend continues, according to a new study, the nation's illegal population will drop by half in the next five years.
What they are not noticing about this is that these people have lived in the US for 8-20 years and have families. They are not leaving alone, they are most likely taking their families and believe it or not 3/4 of this families are composed of legal USA citizens. Either one of the couple is a citizen or; one or more of their children are legal US citizens by birth because they where born before the massive prosecution that 9/11 created. They where able to creep thru the cracks of the unjust system that this Country has.

I know a lot of this so called "illegal immigrants", they came to this country legally, they got a Tax ID, they got a driver's license, they have properties, THEY PAY TAXES (more religiously than many US Citizens I know), their kids go to school like any other kid, the parents are part of the PTA's you and I belong to. They had the paperwork ready to request residency circa 2000-2001 as they came in legally, but the system changed unexpectedly, right from underneath their feet. There was nothing wrong wiht what they tried to do at that precise moment, but they got swept with the "illegal" wave.

So they are really not "illegal", people make that mistake too often. Illegal is people that hide, skeem and willingly come into this country with the intention of deceiving the government and other people.

These people become what you would call "undocumented immigrants", they came in legally, again, I want to really make this point, they came into the country LEGALLY and due to unexpected circumstances, they over extended their visa. Or they got caught up in the terror that the raids (ohh I have seen those personally) infunded in the general immigrant population (yeah, there was a point in time here in Orlando, that the immigrants, even if they are temp. residents, permanent residents and even sworn USA Citizens, started going out everyday with their passports in their bags or pockets).

What is going to happen when the USA realize that not only the "illegal and indocumented immigrants" are leaving, but also, for each one of these people, anywhere from 3-5 more people, American Citizens, are also leaving the country? Are they actually going to acknowledge such thing?


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Discover Buenos Aires Blog

I woke up this morning with a strange desire to learn much more about what my personal transition could be like. Due diligence items we'll have to put in our lists and such.

I started browsing thru my lovely blog roll (here on the right!) and I decided to go to Discover Buenos Aires . Dave and Mersal have done a wonderful job of narrating in a very easy to understand way, the things that must be done in the last month of the US part of your life, just before getting on the plane.

They cover things like pet transfer, credit card issues, banking in general issues, packing, Craig Listing what you don't want to take, car insurance, lots of things. I think I have to sit down and start making my own lists. January is coming fast and furious and we really have not done much besides agreeing to move and tell our families.

I wish Dave and Mersal a wonderful trip as I believe they are leaving the States rather shortly, actually I think this week or even today. I hope to get to meet them when I get to Baires.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Argentina's Passion FUTBOL!

While immersing myself in the Argentinian culture, I can't do much about avoiding the 2nd love of this country. FUTBOL!

As I have been involved with an Argentinian Gentleman since circa 2005, it has become rather impossible to not spend at least 4 hours of our weekend watching WHATEVER ARGENTINIAN FUTBOL GAME THAT WE CAN GET IN OUR US TV to broadcast.
Yeah, yeah, I am screaming, maybe because when this weekly event is happening, the TV volume seems miraculously to make it to the max, and somehow, we end up trying to scream while talking to each other. And then we stop screaming, how rude!.... We need to hit that Asado, we don't talk with our mouths open.... Je je je

I don't mind. I have grown accustomed to this weekly ritual. And as for "Whatever Argentinian Futbol game we can get on our US TV", well that has rather changed. My fiancee has been a Die Hard hincha of Boca Juniors all his life, so after he had "indoctrinated" in the secrets of Futbol, he slowly also indoctrinated into the Xeneize culture. SO much, that we still watch every darn Argentinian Game that we can get in our US TV, as long as it is not "The Gallinas", you know, that Millionaire team.

It is amazing the Futbol Culture, the passion, the place it has in their lives. Regardless of what Club you follow or are hincha of, the game is a primordial part of your daily life. I have heard that even if you are a woman, if you don't try to hit a "balon" at some time in your life, you'd be considered weird over there.

This is a country that has passion, people that believe that if you have make the effort and your efforts have paid of, then they will pay you back. And this is in any way they can, Diego gave his entire youth and adulthood for the game and the country, now he's considered a role model, a hero, a saint, close to God, what the heck. I have a private joke that I will share; In my mind, when it comes to Argentinians, God had a son, and his name is Diego Maradona.

And the Diego worship crosses all boundaries, even now a day, no matter what club you follow, Diego continues to be the closest thing to God, (at least the God of Futbol!) According to what I hear, there are even religious altars that have the image of Diego, somewhere in Napoli, Italy.
Another thing, I don't know much about other clubs, I am hincha de Boca. I also know about the passion that rules the life of the "real Boca hinchas". Here are two examples.

A while back, I read somewhere, I can't remember where; There is an empty lot near La Bombonera (the stadium that Boca uses) and some Hinchas, I believe part of La Barra Brava (a group that has gone beyond being fanatics, they are just plainly obssesed). That was interested in getting a hold of this empty lot and wanted to make it a cemetary exclusive for Die Hard Barra Brava corpses. Kind of gory, but that is passion.

This one is courtesy of Daniel Quiroga (all the way from Ushuaia, but a huge Boca fan) in a phone call a while back.

Daniel: Horacio te tengo 2 noticias amigo.
Horacio: Bueno
Daniel: Me queda una semana de vida
Horacio: Bueno
Daniel: La otra es que me hice hincha de River
Horacio: COMO?
Daniel: Es que para que se muera un hincha de Boca, mejor que se muera un Gallina!

Gallina= chicken shit, scary cat, just plain scared out of their lives. The name the Boca hinchas call the River sorry hinchas.

Well, this is my itsy bitsy piece of Futbol Culture. I hope you learn something, a little, a lot. Just learn something like I have..... Living in Argentina either you learn or you bust!


PS: Before I forget, Diego used the number 10 all his life in the teams he belonged to. The number 10 had been retired from the league until a certain young man made his debut in the Argentine league. This young man is Juan Roman Riquelme, my favorite player.... well, I am aware that he has no diplomatic skills and that he has an automatic connection between foot and mouth. But all this is forgiven when you see the skills of the player. Watch this player, he will be one for the history as well.

Water and Soul Blog - Free Hugs

One of the blogs in my blogroll is from a Recent expat, Jackson. The name of the blog is Water and So(u)l. I have fallen in love with it, because it gives me an idea of what my life will be the first few weeks of my relocation, when I am still in awe because of all the new things I will seeing and experiencing. According to the blog, he joined the Palermo community sometime around July 21st, 2008. Yeah, last week.

I specially loved it today as I found a picture either him or his girlfriend Erika took of one of the Argentinian members of "Free Hugs" Campaign. This is a cause that is very dear to me, very close to my heart and one I plan to continue working on as long as I have breath.

This is a post from couple of days ago, maybe last monday. I guess he was not familiar with the campaign so he felt odd when the young man said it was OK to take a pic of him but he had to accept a "abrazo gratis" in order to do so.

So Jackson, be open minded, Buenos Aires and Argentina in general, is one of the friendliest countries in earth. Don't be surprised if the next "Free Hugs" person you meet up in the streets is me, already in Baires and doing what I love most, sharing my love with the world.


Job hunt - Due diligence for today

What the heck did I do today? Let's see.

Sent about 12 more CV's to online openings.

Went to the interview I landed on my official first day of search. I'll be darned, it was a pre-screening process. I think I did OK, now I have to wait for the darn call for the next step of the interview process.

And decided with Horacio that we are definetively going tomorrow to Prime Outlets to do the App Pick up and then We'll do the App Drop off friday or saturday.

Arrgghhhh, this is kinda frustrating!!!

Had to vent, sorry, isn't that part of what people do on their blogs?


Reactions to our move

Of course we've had many and varied reactions to our announcement of the move in January 2009.

One of the most curious and funny (in my opinion) was the one of my oldest daughter, Nannette Marie.

This conversation came up just after I was discharged from my recent, unexpected, hospital stay.

Goes something like this......

Me: So baby, did I tell you that we are moving?

Her: No mommy, where to? Arizona? Puerto Rico?

Me: No baby, we are moving to Argentina?

Her: WHAT? Did you leave your brains in the hospital bed? Did they also do a lobotomy?

Me: (laughing inside) No sweetie, Horacio and I have been discussing this for a while and the decision has been made. The hospital stay had nothing to do with it.

Her: Mom? You are moving to a 3rd world country, are you insane?

Me: Where do you come up with this assumption? Argentina is NOT a 3rd world country and even if it was; don't you go all the time on mission to what you call 3rd world countries? What makes you think that Argentina is such?

Her: Isn't that in South America?

Me: Hmmmm DUH!

Her: Well, aren't all countries down there considered 3rd world countries?

Me: Thank God I am not paying for you college education because I would "shoot you" right now! And you call yourself a college graduate? Education is not only what they teach you in school. It also comprises what you care to learn on your own. Instead of BSing all day on the net, you should do some searches and learn about Argentina before making such an unjust judgement.

Her: Sorry mom, did not mean to "insult" Argentina.

Me: I know you didn't, but rather than jump to conclusions based on information you have not even verified, I'd do what my grandma told me. If you have nothing good to say about something, better not say anything at all.

Her: You are right mommy. I'm sorry. So mommy, how do we get to see you then?

Me: Well you put that darn passport to good use. Your sisters will do as they choose. I am pretty sure that when you and your sisters visit, you will change your whole idea about Argentina.

Her: So when are you leaving?

Me: Around January 2009.

Her: So soon?

Me: If we could, we would have left already. This country sucks!

Her: (after a minute silence) Well mommy, if you think that is what you and Horacio want, so be it! It may be a fun experience for you and also for us to go visit. Know most of Mexico already and it will be fun going further south.

Me: Good so it is settled? Are you talking to your sisters?

Her: Yes mommy, I'll talk to the girls. Bye mommy, I love you.

Me: I love you too, love you with all I am.

I truly don't think they have really assumed it quite yet. They have some time to adjust. After all, they don't live here with me, they live across the country in Arizona. So we are just moving "a bit further" Je jejejejeje....


Monday, July 28, 2008

Buenos Aires or Bust!

So we are in the process of moving to Argentina. No, no, don't call me crazy PLEASE!

I know it will be deep cultural and social shock, but I am immersing myself with all I can find.

Something that I am doing is reading several blogs from expats (ahhh I have to define this, don't I?).

Expats.... An expatriate (in abbreviated form, expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing or legal residence. The word comes from the Latin ex (out of) and patria (country, fatherland). Thanks WIKI....

On the left side of this blog you will see my blog list. A more or less accurate list of the blogs that I read at least once a day or when they have new posts.

I have not included there the source to most of this blogs. . Go visit the blogs and see for yourself what a wonderful experience this can be.


Fast turnaround....

Well guess what?

I have achieved an interview, from all places in the world, LITERALLY, 1/2 mile from my residence! Odd, odd. It was one of the first resumes sent this am and I had a feeling that it was close (it had a zip code listed), but I had no clue it was this close. Hopefully it would be great if I get that as I wont have to deal with transportation or gas issues!

Other updates, trip to Prime Outlets has been placed on hold until Friday maybe as I have this interview tomorrow and Dr's appointment on Thursday. Maybe we will go on Wednesday, otherwise, Friday.

Due diligence done today for job hunt!

Yeah because it seems that I am hunting a wild animal.

I am out of practice, I am rusty. I have not done any serious job searching in over 6 years.

Monster and Career Builder seem like weird places to me. Career Builder tells me that I had not signed on since sometime 2003... I really did not think it was so long.

I was comfortable driving for "The Company" for 4 years and I thought I was going to do this for a longer time. Well, I guess not.

I have sent over 15 resumes today. Can anybody tell me how long am I supossed to wait? I am in a total loss. I do not remember.

In a few, Horacio and I are going to go to Prime Outlets. All the stores are hiring and to be brutally honest, I think I will do better in that kind of environment because of my old skills and knowledge of the business and the flexibility that it offers. So there I go to pick up applications and spend a whole day filling out repetitive information. The repeptitive writing will most likely create the situation where I'll get callbacks thanking me for my interest but that I am overqualified for the positions available. Darn if you do, darn if you don't.


What brought me to this...

Some of you may know this or not.

I had been "successfully" employed for about 4.5 years, the longest I've ever been employed in my life, seriously. This was a job that I truly loved, made lots of friends and honestly had lots of fun while doing it.

What was bad about the job was the management. While we are all independent contractors, there is still a big cheese on top of all of us. When I started working, till the today's day, the owner of the company has been the same, no change there. What has changed is his attitude towards us and towards the company. And with the type of changes that I have seen within this person, this is a company that I wish not to be associated to any longer. FINITO!

Besides that, the stress that the changes in the company was creating on me, was a big contributor aggravating the state of my health. And my health is something that I am not going to gamble with anymore.

After the huge scare I had this month, I have placed my priorities in better order and ME and MY HEALTH are right up there on the very, very top.

In the same time period, several other things have gone from "plans" to solid goals. Such as our move to Argentina. This had been a plan that "was on the table" and now has been etched in stone.

We had been thinking out loud about this for a while, pondering, wondering.... and now we are pondering no more. It will happen! We are scheduling this move around December 2007-January 2008. We need the time range to be this big, because it is a BIG HUGE move! Takes a lot of time and preparation and bureaucracy.

And this part of my life is what this Blog is mostly gonna be about.... Our move from US to Argentina. It seems to be the next big adventure coming up in my life... (besides finding a way to support this household in the meantime we leave for good).

Till next one


Why...ohh why?

Yeah, why did it take me this long to start this?

I do a lot of things in life with no sense or reason. But this (writing about my life, our life) it is something I have wanted to do for a long, long time. Lack of time? Lack of ideas? Lack of guts? I think the latter.

Well now I guess, I will have some time in my hands for a while. FYI, I have officially resigned to the job I had for about 4.5 years. In total honesty, I have no idea what is next. Bills are approaching fast and furious.... Horacio does not want to say anything out loud, but I know he's worried. He supports my decision of leaving my job, he wants me to get all better for good, and he knows this was part of what was making me sick, but never the less, he's worried.

I have "so-called" started many projects involving my creative side and normally, responsibilities take over my research and transcribing time, therefore, they remain unfinished, work in progress.

This time I will follow thru till the end.

Are you going to join me for the ride?