Keeping In Touch

I had a nice chat (through WhatsApp) with my cousin yesterday.  We haven’t gotten in touch with each other for almost 3 months.  We caught up with each other’s lives.  It was good to reconnect because we haven’t seen each other for many years.   I’ve always looked up to him because he’s just so strong and resilient.  The last time I met him was a family reunion many moons ago.  We shared a room and would chat almost every night before we went to sleep.  After that we kept in touch and exchange long emails about everything. One time he asked if he came to Toronto, could I take him to the gay area.  I told him of course.  So when I finally told him I was gay, he said he wasn’t surprised.  He said it wasn’t because I acted gay or anything.  Maybe his gaydar was better.  I think he said most relatives would just be friendly at the reunion but won’t keep in touch.

Now that I don’t have the issue of eldercare to worry about, maybe I can fly over to LA for a quick visit with him and maybe visit a friend in Berkeley too.  I have no idea what driving is like over there.  If there’s one thing I don’t like to do in a strange city is to drive.  I did that once in St. Louis with my dad.  The GPS kept going “recalibrating… recalibrating…” .  My dad was with me and he kept wondering how to shut it off.

Oh yeah, that short story I was writing with Rigby and Chris?  They got tired waiting for me and have flown down to Sydney to be with Andrew.  They aren’t coming back until I get my act together.

Stressed

It’s bizarre what my company puts our employees through.  I’ve been putting a lot of long days and nights at work these past couple of weeks.  I had to work this past weekend to meet a tight deadline.  On Saturday, I sent out an email with one of my deliverables.  One guy sent his stuff late Sunday night around 9:30ish.   Another guy sent his on Monday at 4:30 AM.  I signed on just after 7AM to get ready.  My manager and another colleague was already online.

Today I had a meeting at 6PM for another project because that’s the only time when most people were available.  It got moved to 7:30PM because the sales team would still be in meetings with the client.  It’s critical people attend.  A lot of times in these off hours, we hear kids in the background, dogs barking, car noise when people are calling hands free from a car or background noise from an airport.  No one has a 9 to 5 job anymore.

One of my colleagues worked this weekend as well.  At a call today, one of my colleagues in Europe openly talked about more cuts to our global team starting 3Q.  In my team call last week, we were told to be considered “productive”, we had to work at least 50 hrs a week.  If you’re in a senior position, that number is higher.

Anyways… I’m whining.  I’m going to the gym or for a long walk tonight.

Snippets

1.  Work continues to be a grind.  Long hours, job cuts, new processes and procedures to follow… it’s just a grind.  It’s usually late when I’m done and I’m mentally drained.   People are working crazy hours.  My last email came in after 11PM.  It’s really the only time people have to catch up.  On the other hand, my sis is worried because she hasn’t been able to find a job for many months.  It’s eating into her meager savings.

2.  My car is 16 yrs old but it’s still running ok.  It doesn’t have a lot of miles on it.  Since the past few years, I’ve been working from home.  It doesn’t have a lot of safety features like electronic stability control.  But it’s still zippy and handles well.  The other day there were 2 cars ahead of me and we were on a cloverleaf ramp merging into the highway.  The van at the front slowed down.  It’s a very short merging lane and the drivers also need to merge in.  But I was able to get in and zipped out of the traffic.  The only thing I need to get looked at is the vibration that happens when I go above 110 to 120 kph.  It’s not violent but noticeable.  I already had my tires balanced so I hope it’s not something serious.

3. I’m slowly starting to exercise again.  But I need to get one of my toes looked at.  I’ve got really bad feet – flat feet, bunions and now this.  I’ve been wearing orthotic arch support for years.  I hope this isn’t serious.

4.  I’ve been invited to a wedding.  The groom is a nice guy but I’m not that close to him.  He knows both J and I so both of us are invited.  I don’t like weddings.  J reminded me that he did show up at my dad’s funeral and service.  But I hate weddings.  The last one I went to, I spent most of the time on my phone outside the venue.  Maybe there’s a bit of a anti social hermit in me.  Maybe I need to be invited to a gay wedding instead.

5.  I’m jotting down ideas to renovate my bathroom.  It’s tiny.  I have a decent size shower (no tub), the toilet and a sink. I’m looking for new shower stall, nicer tiles that are resistant to mold and especially hard water deposits, more storage and that should be it.