When I took the job that moved me to Springfield, I know this day will come. The project will come to an end, and I have to move on. As the time gets closer, I was still holding out hope, however remote that is, that I might be able to be part of extended crew for maintenance part.  As soon as that was made clear about a month ago that wasn’t going to happen, I started to look into different jobs in Springfield. This was on top of my company also actively looking for any projects in Madison and Milwaukee area.

Hopefully this isn’t too confusing. The company I’m directly working for is an IT consulting company. They contract out to companies. With the contract ending, and this other company didn’t want to extend the contract, that leaves me practically jobless.

About a week or so ago, after many many possible leads that didn’t materialize, it dawned on me that if I don’t have a new project by the end of this month, I’ll be out of status, which means I’ll be in the states illegally. That will complicate things exponentially. Even if I get a project several days after the expiration date, I still need to go back to my country and re-apply for the visa. Although it’ll be nice to go back and visit, but there’s no guarantee I’ll even be able to get the visa since the whole process appears to be random anyway. Not to mention the travel cost.

That realization started to weigh down on me for this past week. Yesterday, I finally got a phone interview from a company in Milwaukee (let’s call this company A). The interview went so well that they wanted to have a technical interview today. I was all ready and waiting for the call. 15 minutes had passed and still no phone call. I called in to check and was told that they had tried to reach me and it went straight to my voice mail. Since the interviewer has left for the day, they had to reschedule. Did I mention that the timing was very tight to get my work visa processed before the end of the month, which means I only have about 4 working days left to go?

I restarted my phone hoping it was just a fluke. As soon as I did that, I got 5 voice mails including 2 from Renee the night before. My heart sunk because I had missed 3 job related phone calls that morning. One of which was the scheduled interview. I had no idea my phone wasn’t picking up any phone calls since no voice mails even went through. I was frustrated but didn’t know where to channel the frustration.

I re-scheduled the interview with company A on possible Monday or Tuesday. (Did I mention the timing is tight?) I feel like I just lost the last hope I may have to possibly land me something before I’ll be out of status. Not to mention some companies may take days, weeks or even months to decide.

Trying to be as optimistic as I can, I was trying to go through the day without beating myself too badly. At around 2:30 I got a call from a different company also from Milwaukee area (call it company B). With an extremely short notice they asked if they can give me a technical interview. This is the first time I ever spoke with them. I was notified by my company briefly earlier in the day that they might call, and they were supposed to let me know when the interview time will be. So, even though I was expecting a call, I didn’t expect a call without going through my company. So, I was caught off guard a little bit.

The interview went ok. I didn’t feel it was my best interview. It lasted about 10 minutes and there was one technical skill they wanted that I don’t have. So, I thought oh well, I tried my best, given the situation. At around 3 o’clock (30 minutes after the interview) I got another call from my company telling me that this company B wants me. I was like, come again?

They wanted me to start this Tuesday, which contractually, I need to still work here until Thursday. After a brief negotiation, they agree that I can start on the first of July to give them 1 day for the knowledge transfer since it’s the last day for the guy I’m replacing.

I’ll be driving there Thursday night, work Friday, come back Saturday morning, do the rest of the packing and go back on Monday and start working on Tuesday. Although it sounds like a lot of travelling, I couldn’t asked for more perfect timing. I’m just grateful

In summary, I have been through quite a bit of emotional roller coaster this past month, last week, and especially today. From thinking everything will work out and I’ll be able to stick around Springfield a bit longer, to being sad having to move away from Springfield but also excited to go back to Wisconsin, to being a bit anxious (ok, a lot) that I may have to leave the country in a week, to having lost the only hope that was in arm’s reach to everything is ok now.

Thinking back, I’m not sure there was much I could’ve done differently since I don’t think I did much anyway. I can only attribute this miracle to the prayers of people who care for me and for God’s mysterious yet wonderful plan for the next chapter in my life. How exciting !!!


Starry Night

February 8, 2011

This puzzle takes longer than the last one, but I had a lot of fun putting it together.

I don’t know what about jigsaw puzzle strikes me as something fun, but I really enjoy working on it. It definitely takes time and patience to finish it. I’ve done several puzzles in the past, but last night I just finished a 1000 piece puzzle I got for Christmas. It took me about 5 days to finish it working every night until about 1:30am.

This latest puzzle is a panoramic painting called “Heartland Serenade”. It’s not too terribly difficult to put this together because it doesn’t have too much area that has the same color (ie. sky, ocean or same shade of grass).

After getting the side pieces in place, I separate different pieces based on different colors, deploying divide and conquer method. Start with the easiest work myself to the hardest.

New Year, Not so new life

January 4, 2011

It has been about 5 months since my last posting and nothing really happened around here. That’s why no posting has been made…. Just kidding! There has been plenty of stuff.

I did finish my P90X. That was quite a bit of work. Since then, I tried to maintain some resemblance of exercise and did a little bit of P90X here and there. That only lasted about 2 weeks and I guess life took over. I’m quietly thinking of doing P90X again as part of my new year resolution. The reason being quiet is because I’m not quite sure if I have enough motivation to even start it. Thinking about exercise counts for something, right?

Another exciting thing was that I got myself a girlfriend – Renee. (yay!) She’s someone I’ve known for quite sometimes. It just never worked out until recently. She’s one of the most amazing women I know. What took me so long to make the move? well I guess I’m just that slow…or shy..:). I spent Christmas with her family in Milwaukee and it was a lot of fun.

For Christmas break, I stayed in Madison with the Carlsons (my adopted family). Between spending time with the Carlsons and snowboarding, I enjoyed my time in Madison tremendously.

Came back in time for Christi and Chad’s wedding. What a nice wedding, Congrats guys!! Having Renee come down from Milwaukee attending the wedding and spending a weekend with her makes it an ideal weekend before going back to regular routine.

2011, like it or not, here I come with plenty of enthusiasm of what this year may bring.

At Blues game in St. Louis

New York Trip

August 5, 2010

About 2 weekends ago, I decided to visit New York City. With my luck, It happened to be the hottest time of the year. Nevertheless, I had a great time. I had a friend that’s kind enough to take me around town and be an excellent tour guide. Here are some of the pictures and my mini adventure. I haven’t had a chance to post them until today. Each picture can be clicked to see a bigger version.

P90X Day 60

July 22, 2010

After hitting another milestone, which is 2/3 of the way done, I took a pause and try to remind myself on why I took on this challenge in the first place.

I believe it is not only healthy but also necessary for a person to have goals in life: Physical goal, Spiritual goal, Family goal, Financial goal, Social goal, Intellectual goal, Career goal, so on and so forth.

I have also learned that a good goal is a goal that is:

Specific. In this case, I would like to be able to go through P90X

Measurable. There are 90 days to finish it and there are measurements done in the beginning to be compared with the results along the way and at the end. Pictures (like the ones posted below) are also good as part of the measurement.

Personal goal. It’ll only work if it’s me who wants to do the goal, not someone else wants me to.

Time Limit. There’s a time limit to it. not indefinitely. As in this case, the program is supposed to end after 90 days.

In writing. Throughout the exercises, we are encouraged to write down what we do. The main purpose is to know what we did last so next time we can push more for the improvement. But the fact that we are writing it down, it has a little bit more weight to the commitment as well.

So, it does appear P90X is an easy pick to have a “good” goal. It fulfills all the criteria of a good goal.  But it’s totally not easy to do. As I said on my previous blog, I don’t think I can get this far without my workout buddies. And the more I do this, the more I’m convinced of it.

So, here are some of the comparison pictures. It’s comparing day 1, day 30, and day 60 from the left to right respectively. (Click on the pictures to zoom in)

Garden invasion

July 7, 2010

I heard about how bad Japanese beetles can get in around June and July, but I didn’t realize it can be this bad. I noticed a handful about a week ago, and today, this is what I saw.

Japanese Beetles

Devastating results of Japanese beetles on my poor beans

So, I looked on the internet on what to do with these pesky things. If I don’t want to use pesticides, basically I only have one effective option, which is to handpick them and plunge them into soapy water. Apparently after 4 pm, they weren’t that active, and just chill there. When I knocked around the leaves a little bit, they just fell in and slowly drowning. So, after about an hour of hunting down these critters, this is what I got:

Japanese beetles graveyard

It’s pretty disgusting, huh? It says that there’s no way to totally get rid of them, but hopefully this way it’ll slow down their leaves chowing process and this picture should deter them from coming anywhere close to my garden.

It’s amazing that my cucumber and pepper plants, which are inches away aren’t touched by these beetles. Apparently they really like beans leaves and not others. I might have to keep doing the beetles hunting for the rest of July. We’ll see who has the last laugh.

On a happier note, I also noticed my peppers starting to take shape:

Sweet Banana Peppers