Twice This Week

It’s been months since I had a solid job interview. In fact, I don’t think I’ve had a solid lead since before November. I mean, it’s been a really tough, brutal job market here in my neck of the woods. After getting interviews in August, September, and October…it’s been pretty quiet. Uncomfortably so.

This week, for whatever reason, I’ve got TWO job interviews lined up.

HondaThe first interview is with a local Honda dealership. It’s for a sales position and, quite frankly, I’m pretty sure I could get it if I really wanted it. The problem, though, is that I’m just not in the financial position to risk my family’s future on 100% commission.

I mean, I have no doubt that I could do well in that type of position for that type of quality company (they’re a top selling vehicle), but the time and effort it would take to get the success I want would take away from my current work-life balance…which is something I’m really intent on balancing as much as possible.

ConsultingThe second interview is with a consulting company that is very highly respected in Canada. It’s a job that is perfectly suited for me and is something I really want. After having an initial telephone conversation with their “Talent Acquisition Specialist”, I was told that they were very interested in interviewing me. This combination of situations has me very excited about the possibilities.

I can’t get ahead of myself, though. I’ve been unemployed since the end of July of last year. I’m wanting to get back to work in the worst kind of way, but I need to remain focused. I have to continue sending out resumes and cover letters on a daily basis. I can’t sit idly by and just hope that this works out…as I may have done in the past.

So that’s the latest update. The interview with the consulting company is tomorrow morning and I’m really excited about it. Life is looking REALLY good at the moment. Keep your fingers crossed for me!Fingers crossed

New LEGO Originals on Netflix!

It’s now the second half of March and all of my kids have completed their March Breaks. While we didn’t really go out and tackle the big city, we thankfully had Netflix around and some help from the Netflix Stream Team to keep everybody occupied and entertained.

Netflix Stream Team March packageI received my Steam Team package the week of my son’s break (who lives in New Brunswick), which was the week before my daughters’ break (who live here in Nova Scotia). As I opened up the box with Sunshine, we were interested to see what was in there…

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There was blueberry & strawberry popcorn, some Netflix inspired chocolate, a puzzle, some Netflix socks (!!), and two LEGO kits among a couple of other items.

The big story from Netflix Canada was that there were two big LEGO originals that debuted this month in short, 4-episode “seasons”. One of the great things about Netflix is that they are releasing a TON of original content all of the time and, for the most part, the content is really good.

LEGO FriendsThis month, the first original was LEGO Friends: The Power of Friendship. In this particular show, the series follows the adventures of five best friends – Stephanie, Emma, Olivia, Mia and Andrea – around their hometown: Heartlake City. From summer camp to the basketball court, saving their webcast or helping take care of a friend, the zany antics, adventures and missteps are made all the better by having their best friends by their side. lego

During the week, Lil’ Mo celebrated the show by preparing the LEGO Friends package that arrived thanks to the Netflix Stream Team.

LEGO Friends LEGO FriendsLEGO Friends

Bioncile on NetflixThe second original is called LEGO: Bionicle: The Journey to One. The new storyline takes place on the mythical island of Okoto, where the forces of darkness are on the move and the evil Makuta is working to cast the world into darkness. The desperate island inhabitants enlist six heroes – called the Toa – to help save their beloved island. Only when the heroes are united, will they be able to battle the forces of evil, defeat Makuta and save Okoto. lego bionicle

All of that sounds like Greek to me, but Kiddo watched the show and decided to build the LEGO: Bionicle that came in the Stream Team package.

LEGO Bionicle

As a family, we tried to enjoy the popcorn that was provided but, unfortunately, it wasn’t the greatest snack in the world. But thankfully we were still able to find some snacks so we could enjoy some Netflix family time together during the break (we watched Ant-Man, which is one of the more under-rated Marvel movies…it’s a hoot!). And Lil’ Mo decided to finish the puzzle while we watched.

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So once again, I’m super proud to be a member of the Netflix Stream Team because (1) I’d be a subscriber to Netflix even if I wasn’t, and (2) I get to promote quality programming for the whole family in an era of television where it’s tough finding good programs to watch as a family.

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Thank You For The Reminder

Every day, Facebook reminds me of what I posted “On This Day” in previous years. Sometimes there isn’t much of note, other times there are things that make me smile.

On Saturday, I saw a post that has helped to remind me of what I’m capable of when I find a way to motivate myself.

6am

That’s me while on vacation four years ago. I was up and ready to hit the cruise ship’s gym at 6am and, as you can tell by the look on my face, I couldn’t be happier. 

While I’ve been working hard over the past few weeks to become a better person and not let this unemployment situation get the better of me, I still haven’t gotten to the point where I was in terms of running. 

I’ve officially signed-up and paid for a half-marathon that I fully plan on completing in September, yet I haven’t begun training for it (which is insane, really). This photo helped remind me of just what I was capable of when there was a challenge put in front of me.

So today marks Day 1 of my training. I thought that was going to be a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve been working on myself mentally and emotionally instead of physically. Now it’s time to put it all together. 

 

#ThrowbackThursday – St. Patrick’s Day in Puerto Rico

It was five years ago today that I had my most memorable St. Patrick’s Day ever. 

After the unfortunate passing of my mother, my father took Sunshine and I (along with my little brother) on a Caribbean cruise to (a) get out of town and away from the sad memories and (b) remember her by doing something that she loved to do with my dad. 

It was the first time on a cruise for Sunshine and I, so we really didn’t know what to expect. Smack dab in the middle of it all was a stop on St. Patrick’s Day in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

I have read numerous stories about the beauty of the island, but when we sailed into the harbour as the sun rose over Old San Juan…it’s safe to say that my photos and words simply do not do it justice.

Old San Juan, Puerto RicoOld San Juan, Puerto Rico

We had just finished a morning workout on the ship’s gym when we were lucky enough to go up top and watch that incredible sunrise. As is usually the case with us when we’re on vacation, somebody noticed us taking selfies of ourselves (acting blissfully happy and silly, of course) and offered to take our picture.  And c’mon…how is THIS for a memory that we’ll never forget?? Sunshine & CBG in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Because it was St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to wear the loudest green shirt I could find (I picked one up two days earlier during a stop in the U.S. Virgin Islands port of St. Thomas). We went on an air-conditioned taxi tour of both New San Juan and Old San Juan that only cost us $10 per person. We were even able to stop a couple of times to get out and take a few pictures before moving on again. 

At one point, we stopped at a beach that was positioned between both “new” and “old” and I was able to take one of my favourite photos of my future wife ever. Sunshine in San Juan, Puerto Rico

After this we made our way around the city and go to see quite a few sights.  We got to see where Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony lived at the time and also where Ricky Martin lived. We were able see the two buildings that were the primary feature of the movie Assassins (I was a bit hyped about this one because it’s one of my favorite movies) before we arrived at Fort San Felipe del Morro, which is a major tourist attraction in the area. This place was absolutely beautiful and there was a very large crowd of tourists there. Castillo San Felipe del Morro in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Then Sunshine had an idea.

I want to roll down the hill,” she said.

“You want to roll down the hill?”

“Yeah…”

“Want some company?”

“You want to roll down the hill with me?”

“To prove how much I love you, I’ll totally roll down the hill with you.”

We immediately handed our stuff off to dad and…You're only as old as you feelSunshine & CBG in San Juan, Puerto Rico

You’re only as old as you feel, I suppose. The above picture is me pointing at Sunshine because during our silly rolling, she accidentally kicked me in the head. This, of course, is me telling my dad what happened and Sunshine laughing her head off.

After recovering from our escapade, the tour ended downtown in the shopping district of Old San Juan.  We ended up on a one-way cobblestone street where there were more souvenir shops than I could shake a stick at. After about 30 minutes, my father and brother made their way back to the ship so that left Sunshine and I with the opportunity to enjoy the shopping. We didn’t spend a ton of money, but instantly fell in love with the beautiful of this historic neighbourhood. Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

After walking around the city for a couple of hours, we started to head back to the ship. I found a beautiful fountain that I absolutely needed to take a picture of with Sunshine. Sunshine in San Juan, Puerto Rico

I can’t tell you how much I fell in love with her all over again on this day. And while it’s a little sad to look back and realize that we won’t be going on a vacation like this again any time soon due to circumstances beyond our control, I can’t help but look back on my favourite St. Patrick’s Day ever and smile.

It’s not every day you get to spend this day in such a spectacular locale.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

 

 

Wide Open

My future…it’s wide open.

The FutureUp until recently, I had gone a few months forgetting that fact. After losing my job last summer, I was absolutely certain that I’d find something sooner rather than later because I had a really good resume and I was experienced enough to be a great asset to any company willing to give me a chance.

I had a second interview with one company that didn’t work out. I then had a second interview with another company that didn’t work out. I made it to a third and final interview with a company who then contacted my references…before calling me to tell me that they’ve decided to change the position that they were advertising for because they don’t think they need it at the moment.

That’s what sent me downward. 

The holidays were brutal and it’s been tough getting my head in a better space. But over the past couple of weeks, I truly feel like I have. Sure, it’s been a really tough eight months (!!) sitting at home, but all I have to do is sit back and look at what I bring to the table…really look at where I am and how my relationships are…and I see that my future is, indeed, wide open.

jobI’m applying for at least one job every single day. Just by sheer numbers alone that means I should be called for something at some point soon. I’ve updated my resume and updated my cover letter, and I’m doing my best to be exactly the person that these prospective employees want me to be. 

CBG & FamilyMy relationships with my wife and kids are so much better than they were a few months ago. I’m in a really good spot mentally and my medication seems to be working. I feel as though I’m falling in love with my wife all over again and we’re in a really good place. My kids are fantastic and I feel as though we’re all working towards building better relationships. 

So the only thing that leaves me is taking care of myself. I’m still not getting outside and exercising like I should be, but I feel good about myself. I feel confident that I’m going to get where I need to be sooner rather than later. My future is wide open and I’m going to own it.

So…What’s Up?

Hey gang!

Canadian Bald GuyI know…I haven’t been around in just over two weeks. Sorry about that. My computer actually died for over a week and then last week was spent catching up on working on the new hard drive (ugh). Life has still gone on, so for those interested I thought I’d give you all some glimpses into how life has been going.

jobsI’m still looking for a job. It’s insane to have to write that down because I’ve been out of work for eight months or more at this point. This is definitely the longest I’ve ever gone as an adult without working. It’s crazy to think that I’m having these difficulties trying to find a new career…but I’m not giving up. The good thing is that Sunshine and I are still paying the bills, so there isn’t a massive rush to get out there and find any job possible. It’s getting closer and closer to that point, but I’m not there yet. I’m confident that I’ll find something within the next couple of months. I’ve updated my resume and cover letter and am determined to get something that will make me happy.

CBG and Sunshine at sunriseSunshine and I are in a much better place. Nothing is perfect, but I’m been trying really hard to be the husband that she deserves, even if I’m sitting at home every day. I feel as though we’ve grown closer and that will continue to help us as a couple get over this hump that I’m having trouble getting over. And to be honest, I feel as though I’ve been falling in love with her all over again because I’ve been paying more attention to her and reminding myself of just how incredibly awesome she is. 

CBG and Ankle BiterI’m still visiting my son, Ankle Biter, every two weeks. I feel that sometimes we’re not as close as we could be, but he’s still only nine and I’m sure we’ll only get closer and closer as he gets older. I continue to do my best to be on his level…watching his YouTube gamers to get a sense of what he likes and why, playing the xBox games that he likes to play to feel like we’re bonding…just things like that. We still video chat via FaceTime a couple of times every week so it’s not like we’re drifting apart or anything…I’d just like us to be closer. Definitely things I can work on.

PebblesMy oldest daughter, Pebbles (18), is still a real joy to have in my life. She’s finishing up her post-high school “year of doing nothing” and is hearing back from schools to attend in September. She is definitely a unique young woman, getting tattoos and piercings and posting pics of her smoking out of a bong on social media. But y’know what? I feel as though she’s got her head on straight. She knows what she’s doing and she’s definitely NOT dumb, so I can only hope going to post-secondary school will help her make good life choices.

Rugrat 3My 17-year old, Rugrat, has been dealing with anxiety and ADHD issues in a pretty severe way. Thankfully, it sounds like her mom is doing a bit to help her find the help that she needs. Rugrat actually called Sunshine and I last week on the night before an oral presentation at school that she was scared to death of doing. I think we calmed her down enough that she didn’t get an anxiety attack while speaking (which has happened previously) and she called the next day super excited to tell us how great it went. I am super proud of her and the young woman she is becoming. 

IMG_6997The soon-to-be teenager (Kiddo) is doing great, as is her sister (Lil’ Mo). I love these two girls as if they were my own flesh and blood. And over the past few months, their dad has become more and more of an asshole to them (though he would tell you he’s simply “parenting”). This attitude has helped them become more and more closer to me, which is awesome. They now call me “Dad” on a consistent basis, which makes me smile every single time I hear it. I think the world of them and I couldn’t be happier to know that I’m helping to raise them and provide them with a positive male role model to look up to. 

So overall…life is good. I have no real complaints other than my work situation. I feel good and feel positive. I’m in love with my wife and I love my children. For whatever reason, they all love me, too. What else could I possibly ask for?