Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Summer is Over

I haven't figured out why I've been coughing for almost 5 months, neither can I recall exactly how I started coughing 5 months ago. But I do realize I haven't updated my blog as long as I've been coughing.....with that said, coughing might be a good excuse... ;-)

The 5-month coughing and constant low grade fever have given me enough opportunities to get familiar with public healthcare system. Yes, it is a great thing to live in Canada that you don't have to pay a penny when you are sick (To be exactly, other than $3.5 per hour hospital parking, I paid nothing). However, how efficient and effective the system is, it might be too early for me to judge. I've seen 5 doctors, got 6 different medication, taken 2 blood tests and 2 X-Ray during last 5 months, unfortunately I'm still coughing like a dying old lady while I'm typing now. My chest and stomach muscle have got more than enough exercise during the last 5 months for me to skip all the gym workout. It gets annoying only when I feel all my organs are displaced after deep coughing for no reason. I hope my doctor can take the coughing away from me on Thursday when I go visit her again to see my other test results and potentially I might be assigned more tests to do (feel like myself one of those little cute white lab mice). Or maybe I should go walk into ER directly and tell them I might have H1N1......haha, H1N1 does sound more sophisticated than Swine Flu.

I'm so grateful that my parents are with me for the last two and half months. It's been many years I haven't been around with my parents, I like to be a kid again (ha...said shamelessly). With Mom here, my stomach has been pleased a lot, however one thing weird is that I don't see myself gaining any weight. Only thing I could think of is my mom is a genius.

Summer is over in Ontario. I can feel the long dragging winter is around the corner, maybe this weekend is a good one to go north for foliage. I desperately need a vacation, maybe a prescription of 2 -week vacation can cure my coughing. I know I'm a genius, like my mom.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Job, New Home

Where have you been? What are you doing? how's life? ... well, I've been asked a lot about those questions recently, I know it's been a while since last time I updated my blog. Life goes by faster since I'm off CAS. I can't believe it's been almost 4 months. Here I am for a little update.

I officially moved to Canada by the end of January with some concern and uncertainty about the future, but it soon turned out to be a right choice and for the first time I get to know how sweet life could be in the following 3 months. Immediately before I started the new role in the new city, I made a trip to see my old hometown. Within 2 weeks, my footprint crossed 6 cities, lots of travel ,lots of ridiculously delicious food, and of course, lots of fun. I felt what is called "Culture Shock" when I was on limo from Toronto airport to home after the trip, and I was confused and wondering what's the difference between "developing countries" and "developed countries". I was also inspired during the trip by a book called "The Phoenix Process", which again make me realize how lucky I am. Yes, life is wonderful.

I guess there's no easy start for any type of job. I have a big team which brings a lot bigger responsibility comparing to my last job, on which I only need to be responsible for myself. I feel motivated on my new role, even though I have to drive 65km (about 40 miles) each way to/from work and pay 20 bucks a day for toll and gas. We made a quick wise decision right after I started the job - to sell our still-quite-new townhouse and buy a new property close to work.

We acted immediately as we decided, 2 weekends in row, we stayed at home putting our home in good shape preparing for open house. Surprisingly our townhouse got sold through private sale even before it's listed on the market. A friend's friend came to visit and placed an offer right after the visit. It's exciting and sad, exciting for saving realtor's commission (5% is big saving) and sad that we can no longer call it home soon, considering I'm only here for just 4 months since we bought it. But the bright side, we are going to get a bigger and better home close to work and close to downtown.

The third weekend, we started looking for a new house, after seeing about 15 houses during the weekend, we found our future home. Yes, we signed the contract and bought ourselves a new home 2 days after......"you guys are crazy, buying a house is like doing grocery, wow..." my new co-worker commented on my quick movement. Yey, June 30 is the closing day. No more commuting. I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'm reflecting

Long story short......for the coming year ......try to be a better person since I was not......

(1) Less drink, restrict to max 1 bottle of wine a week, no more scotch/bourbon unless curing coughing

(2) One non-fiction book a month at least

(3) Be more objective while addressing things/ideas

(4) Be more patient: talk slower, don't cut ppl when other is talking......need to improve "listening skill"

(5) Less online shopping & start saving more

(6) Be true to myself/my feeling

(7) Learn to calm self to internalize CFA III testbooks in 2 months

....... and more

Friday, January 16, 2009

Flight 1549

When we started boarding US Airway flight 2502 from LGA to PIT on Thursday afternoon 15th of January 2009, we heard the final boarding call at the next gate for the flight 1549 to Charlotte……

I sat at the window seat and fell in sleep without hesitate once I buckled up the seat belt for take-off. The caress of the sun made me feel warm and safe, I felt like I could just sit there forever. It was a short nap till the captain announcement waked me up, the breaking news was that another US Airway flight got crashed into the Hudson. How could this happen, it sounded scary and unreal, since everything in such a sunny winter afternoon looked just so perfect. We didn’t know if there was any casualty or not. The next thing we were told, the airport was going to be shut down immediately, and no flight would be allowed to take off. The plane started taxiing back to the gate. When we almost got there, the pilot announced that we might be able to fly again...15 minutes later, we took off.

Everyone was on the phone talking to their beloved ones after we landed in PIT, I got voice messages from the family to make sure I was not on that crashed plane. I guess the initial news didn't provide detailed flight info, and both flights have almost the same departure time from the same airport. Well, it's not my final destination yet for sure, I'll be around for a while, quite a while and be happy. :-)

And I'm glad to hear that everyone survived from flight 1549...salute to the captain of flight 1549, he is the hero! I'm looking forward to the new episode of "Mayday" on Discovery channel soon......It is a good TV series for anyone, especially those travelling a lot.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Dirty Dance 1/2/09

After staying home doing nothing for the whole day of New Year day, Lei and I decided to go outdoors for a change. Friday morning, we went to OHIP office in the early morning. On the 2nd day of year 2009, I finally got my Canadian health card after waiting for about half an hour, which was not too bad, considering there were 50+ people ahead of me, it’s a pretty efficient process. I should be able to enjoy the free, universal healthcare in Canada in about a month, somehow this reminded me of Michael Moore’s documentary “Sicko”.

Lei bought the musical tickets for the afternoon show; we then drove to Chinatown in downtown Toronto for a quick bite before the show. Talking about the food in downtown Toronto, it’s the best - cheap and authentic, although I have to admit that most of them do look little shabby and I try not to think about how the kitchen would be like. We had steam buns and la mian … Yummy!

When we were led to our seats in the Royal Alexandra Theatre, the show was about to start. Till then, I realized the show we were about to watch was “Dirty Dance”. I absolutely love the original movie by Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze, one of the few English-speaking movies we were introduced to when we were little in China. I remembered this movie, also because this movie inspired my sister and myself desire to learn dance, although it later ended with nowhere like many of our other ambitions. Talking about the show, I like it, the stage design is creative and efficient, a lot of dancing with a lot of energy and emotion. The actresses and actors are cute. I like the lead actress and actor for Baby and Johnny; they do look like Jennifer and Patrick in the movie.

I guess I became snow-phobia after that accident. When we got out of the theatre, it started snowing. I changed our plan of spending the night in downtown immediately when I saw the snowfall, it was a quite heavy snow, and my black jacket was all covered by a thin layer of snow after just 2 blocks walking to parking lot. Yes, let’s go home immediately, I dislike the snow driving.

The rest of the week was relaxing. I watched couple DVD’s to make up for the ones I missed when I was traveling. “The invisible” is a 2007 movie, which talks about a teenager became invisible to the living and near death after an attack leaves him in limbo. The movie has very favorable soundtrack music, topped by my favorite artists, “Open Your Eyes” and “You’re All I Have” by Snow Patrol, and “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” by DCFC. The story itself is not very convincing, although not bad for killing one and half hour if you simply don’t want to do anything but relaxing. “ The others include “The Black Dahlia”, “Superman Returns” and “Beyond the Border”, unfortunately I fell in sleep while watching 2 of them.

Overall, it’s a very relaxing New Year weekend, and I’m fully pumped to go back to Stamford for my final two weeks of audit. I’m looking forward to conference in Atlanta, where I’m going to see a lot of co-workers and friends I got to know during the last two years.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Different Christmas

How have I been since the accident? Not too bad, other than black and blue all over, I'm doing great now. The cuts are almost healed.

I had a very relaxing Christmas break, instead of driving another 10-12 hours PIT-TOR round trip, I stayed at home for the whole 5 days break and made some new friends during the holiday. For Christmas Eve and Christmas day, I spent most of the day in bed, which helped healing the body faster as well as get some beauty sleep I've been missing recently. For the next 2 days, we had some friends come visit, made some new friends-Annie and Hansen, a lovely couple, of course, the hotpot is always the theme for friends' getogether, delicious and convenient...

The last day of the break, I took an early flight from Toronto to Pittsburgh, so that I can spend the day with the family. My two nieces are growing up, Grace is 4.1 and Claire is 1.1 now, both of them are cute and pretty (of course, the Li family has good gene ... :p). I enjoyed time spent and wish I could stay longer. I also know that it's easy to play with Children and have fun, but it's a different story to raise them up. I don't think I'm ready for this yet ... :P ... talking about that, now I remember my friend Julia, her due date is 1/8/09, I guess I'll hear good news from her any time now and she is a brave girl.

Ok, now I'm back to Stamford, and looking forward to New Year, since I could be back to our sweet home for another temp getaway.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Accident

I decided today that I should start a blog to record my new life not because today is Christmas, but because of the accident 2 days ago. I almost got killed at 11:20pm on 12/23/08 on QEW. I could have been died. For the first time in my life I feel death is so close, and life is fragile. I call my survival a miracle. I don’t want to think about that moment, but just can’t help. Every time when the scene occurs in my mind, I can’t help feeling chilly and scared.

How it exactly happened. It was snowing, like it is always in Ontario, Canada, and I was so close to home, only 30+ miles away from our home at Mississauga. I’d been driving for 270+ miles and flew about 5+ hours including airport waiting- time. I was driving in the middle lane on QEW highway, following a pickup truck, and a cargo truck drove behind in the next lane with a crazy speed towards us, which blew the snow in the air. And I was scared and would like to stay away from the speeding cargo truck as far as I could, I made a deadly decision by changing lane to the furthest lane on the highway thought I would be safe by doing so. Somehow when I got into the speed lane and the car was out of control and started skidding into the middle lane and what I knew next was the car was going to crash into the speeding cargo truck, the only thing I knew at that moment was “I am going to die today and in a way that is very very ugly, and how much Lei will be suffering in couple hours when he receives call from the police, and tomorrow is Christmas eve, it sucks”, I still remembered the crashing moment, the passenger side of the car smashed into the cargo truck in between of the front and rear wheels, I saw the spark accompanied by sharp crashing noise, the broken windshield glasses flying towards my face, I believe my mouth at that moment was open or maybe I was saying something like “oh, shit, my god…”, since my mouth was full of tiny broken crispy glasses later when I was sitting in an ambulance. At that very moment, I was thinking “I’m going to die and how it’ll feel like at the moment that my soul gets out of my body”, I was scared, because I was expecting something unexpected. I can’t remember exactly what happened next, since it happened just so quickly and I could barely see anything because the front part of the car was smashed. Next I was hit by the car behind of me, which might have saved my life. The hit pushed my car out of the speeding cargo truck and spun towards the left side of the lane, the driver side of the car then hit the wall solidly and the airbag hit my face. It was painful, but finally the car stopped. I don’t remember how I got out of the car. When I stood next to the crashed car, I was not sure if I was still alive, if this was just my spirit standing there since I felt no pain. There was no car on the highway for couple seconds; just me, the crashed car and the snow blow. and I was not sure. I ran back to the car to make sure I was still alive. “Yes, I am”.

Couple cars drove by but didn’t stop, I started looking for my cell phone in the car to call 911 but I couldn’t find it, then I realized the engine was still running, I turned it off in afraid of explosion. A van finally stopped behind and a gentleman in his 50’s approached me to make sure I was not injured and still remained conscious. He made me sit in his van to stay warm and asked his college boy to look after me to make sure I was really fine as I claimed. I noticed that my fingers were bleeding and there was some blood on my face, I had no idea how I got this and where was the cut. I was shaking and still felt no pain. 15 minutes later, I heard the siren, the ambulance arrived as well as the police, and they moved me into the ambulance and gave me a check to make sure I was fine and didn’t need hospital care…… then the police investigated the accident by asking me how it happened as well as the other 2 truck drivers involved. Finally I sat on the tow truck 2 hours later and the driver dropped me off in a local coffee shop where Lei picked me up. On the way to the coffee shop, the tow truck driver told me when he saw the car like many of the accidents he had seen, he thought I must have died, and “you are an extremely lucky girl”, the tow truck driver said… “Yes, I am”.

I’m sitting here at our cosy home in Mississauga 2 nights after the accident with neck pain, body soar and slightly headache, I know I am lucky this time. The pain and the potential monetary loss are nothing comparing to my life, but luck won’t always accompany me. I need a change. I can’t live the way I was living any more. I’m going for a change, a change towards a better person. I live not only for myself, but the ones who love me. I am looking forward …