Tag Archives: budget

Joblessness, NASCAR, and Cheap Pants

My Friends,
   Slow week for news.  So lemme break it down real quick:

Stayin’ on my Grizzy
   So far the job-hunt has had mixed success.  I have yet to receive a call-back and when I did a telephone follow-up to the one place which seemed promising, the manager I wanted to speak with wasn’t there.  Then I went to a job-fair yesterday, or what I thought was going to be a job-fair.  It was being held at the new Turtle Jack’s location in Burlington and google led me to believe that there would be a plethora of employers just waiting to hire me on.  As it was, the building was still under construction and there was a table of TJ’s managers doing interviews for the opening of that specific location.  It was a bit of a letdown because there was no point of me applying there (far end of Burlington + unreliable bussing).  It wasn’t a total loss though; I was with my little brother who, although gainfully employed, was looking to upgrade from the deli he works in to something in the restaurant industry, preferably front of the house.  As they insisted he fill out an application to supplement his resume, we sat a table for a while while he started (tentatively/painfully) filling one out and eventually I just grabbed his application, threw it aside and re-did a fresh one for him on my own.  If he gets the job he’ll basically owe me for life.
   The biggest news in the job front is that I got an advertising gig which may or may not be a volunteer position.  The military family support group Canadian Heroes is entering a NASCAR car into the Daytona 500 next month

and when I contacted the founder looking to be involved in an advertising capacity he delegated/commissioned me to write the history of the first NASCAR dedicated to Canadian soldiers as a way to spread awareness.  As well as not being an advertising job proper, it was also a more latitude than I was expecting with my relative inexperience, but I have always said “you gotta walk before you can crawl,” so I’ll take it as an opportunity.  I’ve spent the last couple of days brainstorming what exactly I am going to do and I think I know the angle I will approach it from.  Hopefully by the time of the next entry I have some words on paper.

IRS’ing Myself
   Now that my most recent credit card statement has been issued, I have been able to audit myself and find out just how much my last foray into the world cost me.  The final number, including immunization/travel prescriptions, flights, trains/busses, equipment, cash advances, consular fees, and everything else was $7913.64.  This is about $1500 – $2000 more than I had planned on spending in my initial budget, which I now see was kind of unrealistic.  Still, its over a thousand dollars lower than the figure I thought it would be toward the trip’s end.  And really, for 107 days that’s not too bad.

Clothes Make the (Grown) Man
  Operation: Upgrade Wardrobe began inauspiciously this weekend with the purchase of $11 khakis from Winners.  I don’t think I have owned khakis since the 90s.  Does this mean I dressed better as a kid…


…than I have so far as an adult?
Entirely Fucking Possible!

In addition to my bawss new non-jeans, I also stole a belt and a button-up shirt from my dad which made me respectable enough to go to aforementioned job-fair and fill out my brother’s application for him.  So that’s something.
I solemnly swear that even if I have to staple my cock to my leg and then attempt to pass through a metal-detector undetected, I will have something more interesting to talk about next time around.
Stay Thirsty,
-Andre Guantanamo

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…Where Credit is Due

My Friends,
   I’m back home in Canada after circling the globe over the past 107 days.  It was in many ways not the trip I was expecting but perhaps for that exact reason it was also exactly the trip I was expecting.  For you see I was looking for adventure, something which is eminently un-plannable, and adventure is what I got.
   However, the success of this venture rested on more than just my own overtures toward worldliness and Quixotic affectations.  Rather, I was helped at almost every step by others; some I knew beforehand, most I did not.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who made my trip not only what it was, but possible in the first place.
   So, Thank-You…

To my friend Tommy and my brother Adam for helping me try to get financial assistance for the trip.  It may not have been successful but it was a lot of fun to hang out and make videos.

To Steve and Lynn from modrobes for the clothing you provided and the re-supply mid-expedition.

To Mark from Oakley U.S.A. for your generosity.

To Maria, Victor and Wilson, the first three people who showed me any kind of goodwill in my trip but whose contact information I lost in the robbery.  Thank-you so much and I will keep attempting to find you guys on Facebook.

To my parents for all of their help after I got robbed.  Thank-you for booking my flight back to Lisbon, scrounging through my boxes in the basement to find pieces of documentation so I could procure a new passport and making sure replacement cards, documents and gear made it out to me as quickly as possible.

To the staff of TAP Airlines in Funchal Airport for giving me money to buy lunch when I had lost everything.

To the flight attendants on my TAP flight from Funchal to Lisbon for giving me all the food I wanted after learning I got robbed.

To Bev and Darryn Cross, who saw to it that I had a hotel to stay in upon my arrival in Lisbon.

To Eneida and Gisella at the Canadian Embassy in Lisbon.  Thank you for all of the free calls and the speed with which you helped me out.

To Antonio, Antonio & Penelope for making my stay in Lisbon better than it could have been given the shitty time I was having.

To Vasil & Nadia for letting me camp in their garage during my last night in Portugal.

To “Belgian Teacher,” Greg & Maria, “German Couple,” Samuel, Jose, Sergei & Andrej & Dimitri, Bianca, “Hungary Dude” & “German Girl,” Therese & Stefano & Hannah, “Granada Dude,” “Guadix Family,” “Lorca Dude,” Juan & his Dad, Paul & Sonja, Andrew & Laura, Antonio, Julius, Maria Jose, Xavien, Keira & Ali, Claudia, Rene, Hugo, Tomas & Sandra, Moroccan guy who may or may not have wanted to rob me, “Gay Michele,” Dominique, Miro, Benoit, “Fronk”/Franc, Mohmed & Kh____ (x2), Simon, Gwen, Claudio, Nasir(?), Orsun(?), “Gas Station Patron,” “Nameless Dude,” “Old Dude,” Erol, Veysel, Ali, Ibrahim, Mehmet & Besir, _____ & Ramazan, “Some Trucker,” “Mini-Bus Full of Dudes,” “Big Bus Full of Dudes,” “Turkish Family,” “____ From Antakya,” “_____ & ______ From Antakya,” “Family in a Pick-Up Truck,” “German/Turkish Couple,” Hasan & Usan, _____, Mustafa & _____, The Syrian Secret-Service/Cab-Drivers, Jima, and finally Havid & Family.  Thank-you for picking me up instead of just speeding by.

To Ricky, who came out of left field to offer me his house to crash at in Rota, Spain.  Your generosity was overwhelming.

To Annelies & Annejet, who gave me sunscreen, a pink towel and would have given me a ride to Malaga but I slept in like a dunce.

To Toby, who came back and picked me up from McDonald’s just like he said he would.

To the Collet family who picked me up and let me stay in their beautiful home.  If you have any plans to visit the south of France you should definitely consider a stay in one of their residences: http://www.bormeslesmimosas.com/locationscoulomb/.

To Neil, who showed me around San Remo, bought me a bus ticket, and warned me about just how corrupt Italy was on arrival.

My cousin Steven and his family in Legnano, Italy.  Thank-you for your hospitality, helping me deal with lazy Italian officials, and the delicious food which fattened me up for the cold weather which laid before me.
To Imad and Lina who made me feel at home in Beirut, took me around the city and included me in their Christmas-tree decorating.

To the proprietors of the cafe in the Suez bus station for letting me crash in the back-room.

To Jima, who picked me up, took me into his home and broke bread with me during my last night in Egypt.

To Brian for for offering his flat in Zanzibar which I never made it to.

To Robert for sharing his campfire in Ein Gedi.

To Amina & Gulmyra, my Kazakh “aunts” who forced me to eat with them on the train and led me to the bus station in Almaty.

To “Opie,” who made my welfare the highest priority in his life.

To the Chongqing Police Force for allowing me to use your computers and inviting me to share your Christmas dinner.
To Erich and Serena, for inviting me into your home and the delicious perma-cultured eggs.

To everyone I met who posted pics on my Facebook.  Thank-you so much for enabling me to have photographic reminders even after the loss of my camera.

To my regiment and my friends back home.  Thank-you for being there if I needed something taken care of.

To all my siblings who were supportive of me through the duration of my time away.

To my sister Tanya who posted entries for me while I was in China and unable to access anything but hotmail.

And finally, to my beautiful woman, Chelsea.  Thank-you for not making me feel bad about leaving and for encouraging me in all my goals.

Nobody makes it through this life on their own and even when I felt most alone, I knew I wasn’t.

Oh the song of the future has been sung
All the battles have been won
On the mountaintops we stand
All the world at our command
                      -Gordon Lightfoot

Stay Thirsty,
Andre Guantanamo

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