January 30, 2009

Who knew I was a dog person?

Meet Jude--the dog that isn't mine, except when it comes to walking, feeding and bathing : ) I had tried to resist owning a dog for the longest time, citing they're just like having another child--an he is! I used to make fun of my co-workers whenever they spoke about their pooches and would tell them "it is just a dog!!!" Now I'm the one being made fun of.
Jude was born in July and came to our house around Labor Day weekend. The house has never been the same since he arrived. Before that time there had never been so many shoes and socks chewed and scattered all over the house. He has come a long ways from his first days at the house when he was a scared little mutt to now basically running the household. Not much can be done in the house without considering what happens to Jude, will we be gone long? Will he have enough water and food? Did you stop by to get treats for the dog?

He loves to amuse me with his quirky things and there's never lack of fun watching him, like whenever a door bell rings on TV, he immediately assumes someone is at our door, or when he runs into the back door beccause he can't tell whether the door is closed or open--I know, cruel, but he's getting better at it!
The one thing that edears me is the amount of loyalty that this dang mutt has for us. His love is unconditional and while at times gets to be a spoiled brat, he is also loving and caring. He took to me as his alpha-dog and follows me around everywhere. He loves the kids and my wife, but will follow me anywhere if I let him. He sleeps next to the bed on the floor--I have sleep apnea;there have been a couple of times that I haven't worn my c-pap and I swear that he has tapped me and woke me out of my sleep, I don't know if he has that instinct, but I was telling my wife that he probably feels that it is his duty to protect me, more than the other way around. It has been an interesting relationship. He loves his early morning and late night walks, I swear that I benefit way more than I ever anticipated being bothered by it. We had tried having dogs before but the experiences had not been as positive as this time...

January 25, 2009

Jobs I've done: Telemarketer

I don't even remember how I got into this job, I think is was sometime around age 21 or so. This was way before the time of caller ID and Do not call registry.

I got a job interview where I pretended to be making a phone call and somehow the interviewer thought I was worth a shot! I went through a few days of training before I was even allowed to make a real call. I remember being nervious as heck, sweaty palms and didn't know how I was going to get through the script, but I did it.

We called people in current events like politics, lifestyle and other topcs, mainly polls and opinion surveys. One of the advantages was that when needed, I could do my call in Spanish but the first few times I didn't know if I was supposed to--but neither did managers because they couldn't monitor the call either--ha, ha. However, in time they told me it was fine to do whatever made sense and I did just that. I don't remember exactly how long I lasted in this job, but it couldn't have been very long to be honest. I also can't say that I loved this job. It was tolerable and doable, but loved it? um....no.

I do remember talking to people and they moaning and groaning because I had called them during their dinner time. I guess I did the job for as long as I could, but honestly it is one of those things that I hoped never having to do again. Also, I was extremely glad that I did not have to sell anything, I would have had a major problem doing that. One of the things I learned about this job though that could be a good/bad thing depending on how you see it is that most of the operators were young kids, high schoolers to early college and it gave me a new appreciation for who is on the other side of the line when I got a call myself, at least I had to control myself from being rude to them.

January 22, 2009

Diabetes Talk

If you don't know from my old Windows Live blog, I was diagnosed with Diabetes type II last year. I don't like it, but I think I've learned to live with it, more so I've learned to do something about it instead of just having it.

That's OK, I blame genes for about 60% of it, but the other 40% was probably my doing. I try to have yearly physicals and up to early 2007 nothing had come up in labwork. I didn't have a physical early last year because I was living it up in Southern California and didn't have insurance. I was also packing in the tacos and every other kind of delicious food I could think of and when I came back to Utah it hit me like a ton of bricks. We were still living at my mother in-laws--I don't blame her at all, really :) -- around that time when my kidneys started hurting, of course I was thirsty as heck and going to the bathroom at all hours of the day. I had made an appointment to see the doctor, but my co-worker must have noticed that I was off-whack and he tested my blood with his glucometer and I was at about 380. He literally grabbed me and took me to the ER. By the time I got there and they tested me again I was about 475 (of course I was stressed/scared out of my mind) but then got under control with injected insulin.

The doctor says it was just a matter of time given my family history. Now I live my life according to my blood sugar levels, finger pokings and how far can I go without eating. That's OK, I have managed to keep my levels seemingly under control (around 120), I know it isn't the ideal, but I like the challenge of not having to take my medication if I do everything I'm supposed to and it seems to work! So I'll also be posting some diabetes talk here from what I hear, read and run across the internets!

January 20, 2009

Hail to the Chief!!!

January 20th, 2009. I never thought this date will ever get here. Not because of who is in charge now, but because I honestly never thought I'd ever see this in my lifetime--the first minority president in the Oval Office!! I respect the office of the President and anyone who is brave enough to run for this office, but since I became a Naturalized US Citizen I had never been lucky enough to have the man I voted for be elected until this time around.

I sat on November 4th with my family in front of the TV at 9:00pm when they announced it as official that he was the new President of the United States. I felt a lump in my throat, I had tears in my eyes. I couldn't hide it from my children and told them it was OK to let it out and they to started crying as we watched history in the making. I don't think being in Chicago in person that day would have been any more meaningful had we been invited to be there in person. I am very proud to be an American, but this time the pride just swelled.

I don't know if my candidate will get elected every time I vote, but it feels amazing to see the fruits of your work, getting people (mainly friends and family) motivated to register to vote and watch some of them vote for the first time ever. The momentum that this movement took even in Utah was amazing, one I will never forget and I"m sure there's yet hope in Utah for future Democrat candidates. I've also managed to turn my children into raging Democrats and I don't make any excuses about it--it would probably be easier to be republican in my state, certainly would have more company, but just don't see where the ideals of that party (while worthy) just don't mesh with mine.

So now I honor the new President of the United States, Barak Obama. A man who gives people hope for the future, hope that although we are are in hard times we can pull together as communities as a country and as a world.

January 19, 2009

Ever been a foreign exchange student?

My son is taking Arabic in school and was shown a scholarship program that will basically pay for airfare, school, room and board in a foreign country depending on the language. His choice is of course, Egypt (and the Middle East). If he gets picked, all he has to take is his luggage and spending money. I asked him why can't he go to China or Russia? He says that he'd probably have to take a year of the language to get some basic understanding, but that's not what the website says. He seems to be mesmerized by the whole Arab thing and at 15 years old he is still very impressionable.

Of course I have concerns for safety in a place like this, but hey, things happen everywhere, not just he Middle East. I also have to confess that I worry about the possibility that he might get just a bit too much Arab/Muslim propaganda that tends to very anti-Israel--I'm sure the teacher he has touches on these things a lot, I've heard him comment on the whole Gaza events.. I've talked to him about these things and tell him he has to have an open mind and understand that each side has many valid points, both are probably right but both are probably wrong too, it is nice to know all the points of view.

Whoa...I went on a tangent there, but I think it is important.

Basically everything the program looks good, he meets all the requirements and already has a passport. Mom says she'd probably be ok if he went for the Summer, I say I can handle a semester but he thinks he could handle a whole year if necessary. I think the experience regardless of how long he goes for would be priceless and the type of exposure he'd have to the world would not be learned anywhere else. He seems to be very into politics, sociology and is seriously considering some kind of career in Political Science and this trip would be a chance of a lifetime, but I want to make sure I touch on all the possible points, and ask the right questions if he gets selected, I'm sure we'd have to meet someone about this in person. So any ideas/thoughts, perhaps bad experiences that you can relate?

January 18, 2009

Jobs I've Done...

I have been crazy busy lately, work is insane and I work with my friend during the tax season so that adds more busyness. Nonetheless I was thinking of adding a category of blogging after thinking of all the different jobs I've had in my short four decades alive, so here I go:

Bus-boy at a Burger Joint
My very first job was at age 14. This was back in 1982. It was a mom/pop joint called Dave and Sons. Benny was my manager, nicest guy ever. My family had just moved from Mexico to the United States, Houston, Texas to be specific. In a family of seven children all under the age of 14 working wasn't only an unfair expectation, it was a necessity. I remember not understanding much of what people were telling me, but you didn't need to understand or 'speake-le-English' to clean tables, clear dishes, sweep, mop and take care of whatever people pointed at me to do. I still remember my first check, I was so proud of myself and I still have it somewhere. I eventually moved 'up the ranks' and within six months I had learned the skillful art of the Hungry Farmer (basically a Cheeseburger with Bacon and Hickory Sauce)--remember this was Texas!

I used to walk to work in the hot/humid Texas weather, sometimes I'd ride a bike and if I was lucky, someone would give me a ride to and from work. I did all the possible jobs there in next year and a half from counter, cooking, prepping to cashiering working evenings while in school and summer while off school. I made great friendships and learned lots and lots of things about hard work, but I also learned a lot about what teenagers did in the cooler while the manager wasn't there (smoke pot)-I was a good Mormon boy and the thought of joining them never crossed my mind, besides, they needed someone to watch the front! I certainly don't miss smelling like a cheeseburger and I made sure that I got home and took a shower every day.

Back to the helping family--I didn't get to do the teenager thing much--blow all my earnings at the mall---I wanted to, but it just wasn't possible. I remember once cashing my check and having my first ever $100 bill in my hand and my mom mentioning that we had no groceries in the house. We went to the Safeway down the street and got some stuff and remember handing the cashier my bill only to get about 28 cents back...damn, I'm not bitter about it though, it was an implied understanding that if you worked you contributed to the household. I'm glad for the lessons learned in my first job--they laid down a lot of good work habits and taught me the value of hard work and earnings. What was your first job?

January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

Someday I'll stand at Time's Square on New Year's. Here's to the beginning of a great year! I used to make resolutions for the new year, but we all know where those end up by January second...

The only thing I can actually wish for is to continue on my quest to be healthy and try to manage my diabetes (type II) without medication. I actually succeed at this more often than not. I wish for health and good times for my wife and children, they are my world. I figure if I can manage to stay on top of those things then everything else will be a bonus! So here's to new beginnings!