Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Our news: Martin has a new job!

For those of you who haven't yet heard, my husband now has a new job! Through our vast networking abilities (read: by using headsets to chat with our guildmates around the world World of Warcraft), DH found out that the company one of our guildmates works for here in Toronto was hiring for a position that he was very much interested in, and sent his résumé and cover letter to the company through said friend. Things started moving very quickly after that. He had a telephone interview with a human resources person from the company's New York office. That led to a conference call telephone interview with 3 people from one of the company's UK offices (the headquarters, I guess; the people included someone on the technical side of things, a human resources person, and, um, someone else :)). Finally, he had to go in person to the company's office in downtown Toronto for a third interview. That third interview was this past Monday. Yesterday (Tuesday) he got the call from New York offering him a position, discussing salary, and so on. Oh, yes, salary...did I mention that he will be making more money now than he did in his current/previous job? He will be working some odd hours in his initial position, too, so that means he will also be getting extra pay (a "shift bonus") to make up for it.

He will be working at the office in downtown Toronto, and he will start there next Wednesday (June 6). Before he really gets into the swing of things there, though, the company is going to fly him to the UK for 6 weeks of training by their people over there, starting June 11! This is very exciting. Unfortunately, they are not paying for me to go over there, so I am examining our finances, travel sites, hostel information, and so on to figure out if I can afford to go see him over there for part of his training period; I'm thinking I'll probably go over there for a week or so about halfway through his time there. Oh, and renewing our passports, seeing as they've been expired for years :P. (Note to self: always keep your passport up-to-date, even if you have no travel never know what is going to happen, and it is expensive to get the I-need-this-passport-yesterday rush service!)

As for what his job will be, well, he is going to start off as a level 2 call centre tech support rep. Working a call centre may not be great, but at least he won't be level 1 (so he will hopefully not have to deal with people who think their CD-ROM drive is a coffee cup holder), and it is a way for him to get into the field (remember he's been working on fixing electronics hardware components in payphones and modems and such for the past 6 years or so, so this is a change of fields from the hardware to the software side of things). There is apparently quite good opportunity for growth within this company, too; when he had his conference call interview, it came up that either the person who'd been on the line before him or one of his interviewers had started where my husband will be starting, but had had 4 different job titles in the past 4 years, and of course his having a connection in the company already doesn't hurt. Anyway, he's excited because he's wanted to get out of what he's been doing and into the IT field for a while now, but didn't think he had the qualifications to do so (only a deep interest and hobby rather than any formal training in the field). I'm happy because he's happy and seems to have hope that there is potential for growth with this company, whereas there didn't seem to be that at his old job and he was feeling like he was at a dead end.

I'll keep you posted on how things go with my own job hunt (at this point, I only have the old news that I have my interview with the Toronto District School Board tomorrow). For now, I am happy for hubby: yay!

Friday, May 18, 2007

I don't hear voices, just music...

I've been noticing something annoying happening to me more and more recently. I'll be walking along, minding my own business, when I'll overhear a snippet of a conversation, and BAM! I get a song stuck in my head related to some word in or aspect of the conversation. Sometimes the verbal input that provides the related song doesn't come from another person, either. Just a few minutes ago, I happened to catch a glance of something World Vision has sent to my husband and me for us to sign and send off to our sponsored child. I haven't opened up the envelope to see and sign whatever it is yet, but I can see the exclamation "!Feliz cumpleanos!" BAM! Into my head immediately sang the song "Feliz Navidad," which is rather annoying considering that it is now May. Other songs I have had stuck in my head in the course of not even half an hour tonight have included "Do You Wanna Dance" by the Beach Boys and a song I used to sing in Girl Guides that includes the name of various restaurants ("A Pizza Hut, a Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut"...c'mon, Jen, sing along ;)). Even more annoying is that I've had a song in my head now and then over the past few days which I don't know the words to, only the tune (the music video for it played in the theatre before the previews when a friend and I went to see Spider-Man 3 and I heard it again when my host teacher was listening to the radio in our office a few days ago). It's okay, I know I'm crazy, but it probably reduces my stress load, and besides, it does make life much more interesting and musical ;).

Now playing: "I Can Hear Music" by the Beach Boys...

Monday, May 14, 2007

If Error Messages were Haikus...

This comes courtesy of Laura (who did not write them but found them elsewhere). I really am too easily amused :).

Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

A file that big?
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.

Wind catches lily
scatt'ring petals to the wind:
segmentation fault

ABORTED effort:
Close all that you have.
You ask way too much.

First snow, then silence.
This thousand dollar screen dies
so beautifully.

With searching comes loss
and the presence of absence:
"My Novel" not found.

The Tao that is seen
Is not the true Tao, until
You bring fresh toner.

The Web site you seek
cannot be located but
endless others exist

Stay the patient course
Of little worth is your ire
The network is down

A crash reduces
your expensive computer
to a simple stone.

Yesterday it worked
Today it is not working
Windows is like that

To have no errors
Would be life without meaning
No struggle, no joy

You step in the stream,
but the water has moved on.
This page is not here.

Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.

Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

2 years of waiting is almost over.

I need to do a recap of some history in order to make this post make sense. Most of you know that my husband had a brain injury in August 2004 when an AVM in his brain popped. You probably also know that when the doctors were initially trying to figure out what caused that brain injury, they found not only the popped AVM in his brain but a second (un-popped) AVM as well that they knew they would have to treat one day (once Martin had finished recovering fully from the first one popping) to ensure that it would never cause Martin any problems. Martin received that treatment in June 2005 in the form of a single dose of finely-targeted radiation given over the course of about 20 minutes. The idea is that this single dose of radiation would slowly build up scar tissue on the insides of the blood vessels of the AVM, eventually cutting it off from Martin's blood flow entirely, although we were told it could take about 3 years for this process to be complete. How a single 20-minute burst of radiation continues to do work in one's body years after it was given boggles my mind (maybe effects lead to effects lead to effects, I don't know), but there you go.

Anyway, because of the length of time this treatment takes to work, Martin hasn't been monitored or called back to the hospital since that day nearly 2 years ago now (well, other than one day we had a scare and thought the AVM might have popped and rushed him down there, but he turned out to be okay that day). He's more or less fully recovered from his initial injury and gone back to work. This July, however, Martin will be back at the hospital for his first check-up MRI. A couple or a few weeks after that (I have to get the date confirmed again yet), we will be back at the AVM clinic finding out the results of that MRI and if the treatment Martin was given nearly 2 years ago is actually working. Let me tell you, 2 years is a long time to wait for results like that...and who knows, we may have to wait another year for full treatment. Yes, after a while you kind of forget that there is a potential bomb in the brain of someone close to you, and start to take it for granted that everything is indeed okay now, but the worry never fully goes away, creeping up again whenever that person is late coming home from work or seems to be feeling or acting oddly. We haven't risked his taking any plane flights, and for a while we didn't even want to risk being too far from the city and its particular expert hospitals. I know I mentioned the idea of my being a teacher in a missionary school somewhere, but I've decided to put off pursuing that until we hear that Martin has been fully treated; I will teach here for at least my first one or more years until we get that news.

It is good to be coming to the end of this two years of waiting. Who knows, though, what news our upcoming AVM clinic appointment will bring, and how it may change our lives? I still need those of you who are in our prayer group to pray us through this, as long a journey as it's been. You keep us lifted; I'll keep you posted.

My apologies for being somewhat rambly tonight; there is a lot on my mind. Have a good night, all, and enjoy some of that sunshine we're getting this weekend!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

I have a TDSB interview!

I just found out today that I have an interview with the Toronto District School Board on May 31. For those of you who don't know, getting hired as a teacher by the Toronto District School Board is a two-stage process. In stage one, you have to pass an interview by the school board, who will then put you on an "eligible to hire" list. In stage two, you get interviewed by the school that will potentially hire you. In other words, my getting an interview with the TDSB doesn't guarantee me a job, but it is the first step in the process and is encouraging.

Thank you to all who have been praying me through this process; it is far from over, but this is good news :).