Posts

Showing posts from May, 2006
Image
So, it is done. I got the call today from Quinlan, my new boss. As soon as the house sells I am moving to Alaska. It looks like my boss here will be losing the contract so I would need to start over on the Green Card anyways. Might as well be happy. God, I hate the Backlog Elimination Centers. The house is progressing. Except for stain, the front deck is done. I have a truck lined up. Quinlan says the state of Alaska will only pay $3000 of my moving expenses so I have to figure out what to do with all our stuff. I can either: get rid of it all and start over or suck it up and pay a moving company, as my horse trailer just won't carry it all. The animals, include the tree climbing goats are for sale. I got my first call on the house today. The first showing is hopefully on Saturday. I have the buyers agent commission at 4% so they are falling all over themselves to sell it. I will miss some of the people here but I have to do this. Hell, I want to do this. I want Kadee to gr…
Image
So, just a quick update. We have been working. I got Gabe breaking rocks. Spraying toxic chemicals without any protection. The back deck is now done.
We have most of the rubbish cleaned up. The front deck should be done tomorrow. I am also looking at two trucks tomorrow. A $6000 1992 ford and a $30,000 2004 Chevy Diesel. There are pro's and cons to each. I am beat. J is painting the inside and looking after Kadee. We are both tired. God I hope this house sells quickly. I will update when front deck is done.
Image
So, can you say crazy? Although I don't feel like there is a lot of progress being made, I can see that things are getting done. The back deck will be completely done tomorrow. The front deck is now gone and Ryan starts the new one tomorrow. Today I learned that the Blue Book value of my truck is about $5000. Hence, Gabriel will work tomorrow like a six year Chinese boy in a garment factory. He will feel the whip of his master on his back. With no "breathers" as my wife calls them. No tea breaks for him. He helped me with deck and tomorrow we will clean up and start the front deck. He learned today that his car is FUBAR so we will have to arrange a ride for him next week. I may have found a good used truck to buy and that will solve this issue.
As for work, we learned today, as a surprise to me, that we might actually make more money under the new guy. Some of the staff will make less, but that is good as they are overpaid bit%@#$. Regardless, Gabe has decided to (probabl…
Image
So, this has been one of the worst weeks ever. First, I learned that Alaska will NOT under any circumstances sponsor me for a Green Card. Damn. Second, my old red car died. To make matters worse Gabe's car died the same day. I am lending him my pickup but that leaves Julianne and her mother without wheels. Finally, today I learned that I will probably be unemployed within 5 weeks. We will all be. Apparently the committee responsible
for the Public Defender Contract has recommended that the other bidder be given the contract. We might be able to work for him. Maybe. But he pays $31,000 a year with NO benefits. Not even medical for us. I would lose everything. The boss had a meeting at lunch and was adamant: YOU ALL NEED TO FIND A NEW JOB NOW!!!! I was thinking about staying because of the no Green Card thing. Now it looks certain I will be moving, as long as I am formally offered the job next week. The problem is that I doubt I will sell the house in 5 weeks. Then what do I do? Hope…
Image
So,the second grandmother has arrived. I'm not sure how we could be any busier. The back deck was half built yesterday with the help of Gabe and Joe. The contractor and I will finish it today. The painting contractor will arrive any second. I go back to work tomorrow. The worst part of all of this is that it is NOT for sure that I have the job. It has been offered to me, and I have accepted but the boss had to formalize it because they "have never hired a Canadian". I will feel much better when it is for sure. One thing that I forgot to mention before: I will be the deputy public defender for Homer.
This is my territory now and I have to travel there when necessary. And quit early and fish. How awful. Anyways got to get back to work. There is a lot to be done. We have found rotten wood where the house needs support and we are going to fix it. Can you beleive that the weight of a room was on this?
My contractor is great, and we are fixing things as we go. In two weeks thi…
Image
So, we took down the back deck today. And managed to get my mother and Ivy off. Yes, the stress continues. It is stressful for both of us I know. But in different ways. I have to worry about employment and how to stay in the country and how to sell the house and how to move. Julianne has to worry about moving to a place she has never been. About loneliness. I know she is taking a leap of faith, and I appreciate it. Hopefully we both love it. Tomorrow the new back deck goes in. Thank God. I thought the wood was okay but it was rotten beyond belief. Joe and Gabe are helping me out and I will give them both a lot of stuff when I leave. When this project is done, there are only about 2,545 more. See you soon.




Image
So, today I am mad. Julianne won't like this but it is my blog. As you all know, I worked my tail off to get to Alaska. Not to mention the stress the three of us, our animals and friends are about to go through. I didn't work so hard in a vacuum. I knew Julianne didn't like it here either. So we talked about it. And talked about it. And talked about it. And agreed on Alaska. Or so I thought. Now she is mad. Doesn't want to go but is "trapped" by our baby. Says it will be too cold and lonely up there in "the middle of nowhere". What the hell? Didn't I write about 6 months that her attitude might be a problem? She assured me she was cool with the idea. Until today. So not to mention the stress of a job, having a baby and trying to move
my family and everything I own 3395 miles north in only 3 months. Gee thanks. At least Kadee seems excited.

We are moving along on the house. We have started the fireplace.

Tomorrow the back deck comes out. Unfortunate…
Image
So, I've done it. I was offered the job today in Kenai and I took it. What have I done? I have agreed to be there by September 1. I thought I wouldn't even BEGIN to look for work there until Spring 2007. Wow. The thought of what is ahead of us is almost overwhelming. I need to fix up the house. Sell it. Buy a new one. Get rid of animals. Get a new truck. Wind up my practice. Get up there. Get a new work permit. Etc. etc. etc. Most people in our life support the decision. Dan, our friend and butcher (in picture with Kadee) leaves for Alaska on June 1 and thinks it is great. My mother supports it. Patrick supports it. Jeremy supports it. Gabe supports it. Anyone else have a thought? This decision could cost me my Green Card. But I have to try this adventure in life. Especially on days like today--94 degrees and climbing. And it is only May. 3 months to Alaska. So what does everyone think? John Denver says it best with this: http://meet.msvoice.com/america101/data4/ak_%20alask…
Image
So, my mother and my great aunt Ivy are visiting (the baby). Ivy isn't really related by blood but I love her like kin nonetheless. I never really knew my grandparents so I enjoy my time with her immensely. We play cards to the wee hours of the morning and drink and she tells stories about the war years and just the life of a 96 year old woman. Very cool. They are both in love with Kadee.






As for Alaska, it is looking more and more like I have to make a choice soon. Judge Nichols, who I respect immensely, got a call from the Public Defender yesterday. She emailed me to say that she gave me "high marks". The PD did not call any of my other references and the thinking is that the judge's word was enough. The weight of the advice so far is go for it. There are still a few people that I want to hear from whose opinion I value highly: Jeremy, my brother Darren, Dave in BC and Brian. People in Alaska? So what do you guys think? I am going to have leverage myself to the hi…
Image
So, THE Public Defender for Alaska called me today. Unsolicited mind you. Nothing is in writing and there has been NO firm job offer. But the biggest concern was (and I am not making this up) "how soon can you get up here"?) To be honest I am really worried about it.
On the one hand moving to Alaska is all I have been talking about for the last year or so. I studied my ass off to pass. I want it. And if I turn down a job there, won't I always regret it? In my experience it is not the things in life that you do and fail at that you regret. It is the untried things that keep you up at night. The what if's? The if only's. On the other hand there is the practical side of moving from California to Alaska. Selling the house. Selling animals. Selling goods. Fixing up the house to sell. I need a new pickup. Finding a place to live in Alaska. Building new decks like these.


Not to mention the emotions of leaving. Will I like it? Will Julianne? Will my daughter? But to be hon…
Image
So, I PASSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God I wish there was bigger font here. That is not big enough for the way I feel. For proof see http://www.alaskabar.org/index.cfm?ID=6276

To celebrate I came home early and began work on the porch deck. So my mother can use the trailer. And we can barbeque and drink beer out there. The guy in the pciture is a contractor who is building it. I traded some legal work for the deck. It is ironic that the trailer has a new redwood deck, which is nicer than the one on the house. He is coming back tomorrow to finish up.




I can't tell you how happy I am today. Passing the bar exam is huge. Especially as tomorrow I have to appear on one of my cases where Placer County is trying to give (and will succeed I am afraid) life in prison to someone for drunk driving. God I hate California. I am getting the packet to be sworn in sent to me ASAP. If Alaska is like California, a lawyer can swear me in. Gabe is going to do it. We are going to wear fur hats and a pistol and b…
Image
So, I've had enough. We are down five attorney positions at work (out of 25). PLUS we have two out on maternity leave, one attorney's dad just died and one is having surgery. We are at about 60%. Which means we have to work harder. It also means that my boss is not paying five attorneys at a minimum of $8000 a month with benefits. That is $40,000 a month extra he is making on top of the reported $250,000 a year salary. I don't begrudge the man for making money. But he doesn't pay for our medical insurance. And my TN-1 work permit is coming up for renewal. There is a $190 fee. To make a long story short, he has refused to pay it. So I have decided to leave sooner rather than later. My real estate agent is coming over on Sunday to give me a list of things to do. I already know some of them. Like re-do my stove. The picture on the left is how it looks now. It is one of the weakest parts of a nice house. I am going to re-do so it looks more like the one on the right. But n…