Material Pleasure

February 26, 2010 § 4 Comments

Today through Sunday at Dalaga in Brooklyn, you can receive 10% off when you purchase a spring jacket and a dress. If I were home in Greenpoint right now, I can guarantee you not only would I be taking advantage of that deal, but I’d probably be walking away with a couple other items as well.

I love this tiny wooden play set of New York! It’s also pretty decently priced at only $14 online, but I’m going to wait until I get back to NYC and head over to Muji to pick one up for my apartment. They also have models of Tokyo, London, and Paris.

I have yet to venture into Toronto’s Coriander Girl, but the shop that boasts both flowers and antiques sounds lovely. I have really gotten into flowers the past couple years and am currently keeping a lookout for the perfect wedding bouquet to take to NYC City Hall with me. I may need to meander in to this shop tomorrow and record ideas in my brain.

Amy Sol’s “Garden Nest” is beautiful. The painting will be on display at the David B. Smith Gallery which opens on Friday, February 19th and runs through March 20th.

I’m really a very nice person.

February 25, 2010 § 2 Comments

No, this isn’t my mugshot. It’s a comparison of how I used to take nice, pleasant passport photos and now I can’t seem to make myself look very friendly whatsoever in them.

The “happy” photo is my current passport. The photo was taken early September 2008, after returning from a week at the beach in North Carolina with Nick and his friends. I got back to Toronto Labour Day weekend and still had a day off before returning to work. I was tanned and relaxed and happy.

The “impatient” photo was taken today, after I walked through the parking lot in Whitby with snow blowing in my face, thinking about how I was supposed to go back to NYC for another “visit” tomorrow, but I’m still here, trying to get as much done for my visa as I can before I return. My visa photo looks similar to the one above, but I look even scarier because I’m wearing eyeliner. Maybe I’m subconsciously taking photos where I’m scowling at the camera to show the government officials I am not pleased with what I have to go through to be with Nick. Despite the frowns, please remember, American government, I love you and will probably end up hugging any official who’s close by when I get notice of my visa being approved.

So readers, can you see a difference? Which girl would you like to go out for ice cream with more?

Happy birthday, Dad

February 24, 2010 § 3 Comments

[This is how my Dad babysat me, circa 1982]

Today’s my Dad’s 55th birthday! Even though he’s in sight of receiving senior discounts, he is also still a very hip man. He regularly schools my music-loving friends in music history, gear, and stereos. He listens to new music like Wilco and Spoon instead of insisting that there’s no music worth listening to after 1979. He taught me to play bass when I was 15. He’s one of the most diplomatic and kind people I know. I can always count on him to give me level-headed and unbiased advice on how to handle situations that I’m unsure of. Also, he has a mean sense of Dad humour!

Happy birthday, Dad!

Your Welcome

February 24, 2010 § 2 Comments

A much more stupid and light-hearted entry than yesterday. What did I do before Google image search? Oh yeah, I probably went to bed at a decent hour and didn’t look up funny pictures of animals.

Someone stop that monkey!

Lazy, shy, or just practical?

February 22, 2010 § 2 Comments

As much as I am excited for my friends to get married so I can party with them at their grandiose wedding receptions, I have never really seen myself having a huge wedding. Not only do I rarely enjoy being the centre of attention, but in mine & Nick’s situation a big traditional wedding is just not possible, since we are required to be wed 90 days after I enter the States with my engagement visa and I won’t know when I’m going to get the visa until after I have my interview, etc. This is just fine with us since we were going to get married at NYC City Hall in October anyway, but with all my friends & family who are engaged right now making a big to-do about their wedding plans, it makes me question myself, just a little bit. Am I crazy for not demanding a fancy, expensive wedding where I can be the star of the show and get tons of gifts?

After considering the alternative for just a few seconds, I always come to the same conclusion: Nick and I have been through it all at this point and we just want to be married. It’s not about the party, the gifts, the big show; it’s only about us being together. I will need to have my parents and brother & sister there when it happens and of course I’ll require a top-notch photographer! I’ve also already got my version of a wedding dress that I absolutely adore and can’t wait to wear. Nick & I wanted to have a Canadian reception if we had gotten married in October, but that’s too far in the future for me to consider again. Let’s just get me back into the same country as my fiancé first.

I started reading East Side Bride today and she cracks me up. I love her blunt replies to stressed out brides-to-be and it’s good to know I’m not alone with the ideas of non-traditional weddings!

Other inspirational stories:

Meriwether is Will’s dream girl and now they’re getting married!

Hannah & Landon’s tiny wedding on a beach

Propose to your boyfriend on an unremarkable day in February

[beautiful bouquet photo from An Apple A Day]

Status: Scavenger Hunt Mode

February 19, 2010 § 5 Comments

Since I received the letter we’d been waiting for from the American Consulate yesterday, I’ve been in what I call “Scavenger Hunt Mode”. This has happened a few times during my exile, usually after I’ve spent a month waiting patiently for any news or progress, then I get some news that there is something I need to have, do, or prove I have done and I spring into action! Right now, I am eagerly pursuing my inoculation records as the papers (which I view as my latest instructions on how to get into the super secret club of those with Engagement Visas to America) list 17 (SEVENTEEN!!!) vaccinations I need to prove I’ve had, or get them again.

I’ve lived in many cities in my life and so I had to call three different regions’ health care info lines. They have now all gotten back to me, but apparently none of them have ever heard of me except for Winnipeg. (Further proof Winnipeg really is my hometown.) The nice lady says she will fax my records to me next week.

Later this afternoon, I decided to call the place I need to receive my visa-approved medical exam and the person I spoke to really cleared things up for me: I’m over the age of 18 so I don’t need to have all of those shots! The important ones are rubella, measles, mumps, and tetanus. PHEWF! This medical exam sounds pretty intense, but I’m happy to do it in order to move on and get one step closer to marrying the love of my life (that’s him, pictured above!) Oh, and being tested for various diseases like syphilis also sounds like a great time!

I am your Web Surfing Assistant

February 17, 2010 § 2 Comments

Everyone’s BFFs, Cancer Bats, have just released a new video in which they cover “Sabotage” by the Beastie Boys. As Liam would say “I’m stoked on it!” Watch it here.

Last night, I couldn’t stop watching the Olympics when men’s figure skating was on. I don’t typically watch much of the games at all, but this is all about being the flashiest, most flamboyant man you can be, and apparently this is the sport in which it is most acceptable to cry after you’ve had your turn competing. If you missed it, check out some stills of their moves, and most importantly, their outfits.

My mom and I watch this show almost every afternoon. The host is adorable and she makes healthy, delicious recipes right up my alley. Simple too! (Oh, the perks of not working full-time.)

If you haven’t read the Sleep Talkin’ Man blog yet, do it now. The best part is imagining a polite British man saying these outlandish things. Oh, and naturally he has coffee cups and t-shirts for sale with his hypnagogic (*cough* Word of the Day *cough*) quotes on them.

Material Pleasure (and things to look at for free)

February 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

Amazing photos from the National Wildlife Federation’s 2009 photo contest.

Gorgeous New York designer Alexandra Grecco.

Daydreaming about hiring this Los Angeles photographer to photograph my eventual wedding.

Loving these Fjall Raven backpacks.

I am going to sign up for the next online class at 503 Photography.

Ryan Jacob Smith’s prints include those with outlines of America, with the messages “Sorry” and “We’re Totally Fucked”. Awesome.

Public Transit and Me: a Love/Hate Relationship

February 15, 2010 § 1 Comment

I thought it would be funny to show those of you who think I’m just kind of hovering around outside the city and come in when I feel like it how long it actually takes me to get to Toronto these days:

One: the bus. It comes about once an hour and takes the longest possible route to get to the train station. A 15-20 minute drive becomes a 35-40 minute tour of houses, gas stations, and more houses.

Two: the bus never matches up with the train, so I usually wait inside this lovely train station for 20-45 minutes for my train to arrive.

Three: board the train!!! Warm up (see my cold, red nose?)

Four: enjoy the 50 minute ride into the city, usually by reading, listening to music, or just watching the poor cars in traffic on the 401.

I am considered an anomaly when I’m here in the suburbs for not only not presently having a driver’s license, but for never having had a full license in my life. Even though I grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba (one of the coldest cities in Canada, with lows reaching -45 c in the winter) and followed that up with a move to one of the most boring cities I’ve ever been to with less than desirable public transit, I maintained my licenseless status. When my family and I first moved to Whitby 10 years ago, in order to get to college or the record store I worked at, I’d have to walk 30 minutes into Oshawa to catch one bus then transfer to another. The whole process took about an hour. An hour to get somewhere that you could get to in 15 minutes if you just drove straight there.

Three years later, I moved to Toronto and revelled in having streetcars, subways, and buses everywhere! They’d take me to and from work, to friends’ houses, shopping, etc. If it was really cold or late at night, I’d jump in a readily available taxi. In the summer, I’d ride my bike everywhere and save money as well as enjoy the sights and a workout at the same time. The thought that I was in my mid-to-late twenties and still hadn’t got my license didn’t really bother me.

Last June I moved to New York, a city which boasts one of the best public transit systems in the world. Oh and that rumour that cabs in Manhattan won’t drive you home to Brooklyn? Untrue!

Now that I’m back in Whitby with my family while my visa is processing, I have been quickly whipped backwards in all my public transit progress I’ve made in the last 8 years. At first I felt claustrophobic and trapped, then I kind of just got used to not really going anywhere, since there is nowhere to go here and it’s winter. Well, I did manage to conquer one of my New Year’s resolutions already and that was to get my beginner’s license again. Now I’ve only gone driving a couple times since having it, and hopefully I’ll get some more practice before heading back to the US, where I’m pretty sure it won’t be honoured and I’ll have to start the process all over again. I suppose my ultimate driving goal will be to have full driving privileges by the time I am ready to have some babies so that I don’t have to haul them around on the subway with me after they’re too big to fit in those fun backwards backpack-looking carriers!

Oh, Valentine’s.

February 14, 2010 § 4 Comments

I never cared much for Valentine’s Day, in fact, the first couple relationships I had ended shortly before this Hallmark holiday so I had a pretty bad couple of first impressions. Now that I have Nick, things are different, but only in the way that I look forward to spending the day together, not in the way that I expect a big to-do about the whole thing. It’s nice to know you have someone special if you’re going to be bombarded with Valentine’s commercials and sales and it’s especially lovely that we sorted it out so he came up to visit this weekend so the two of us didn’t feel alone together on this potentially trying day.

Nick and I will have been together for three years this May, this means we’ve had three Valentine’s together so far. Let’s review:

Thurs. February 14, 2008
Since it was a Thursday, we weren’t together for our first international day of romance. I believe he came to visit the next night, but I do remember that he sent roses to my office and I got to be that girl all the single ladies were jealous of for a day.

Sat. February 14, 2009
I flew to New York for the weekend. The night before, the “Friday the 13th” remake came out in theatres and we thought it would be fun to go on a double date with Courtney and Jesse to see it. We went to a theatre in Times Square. Bad idea. It was the worst movie-going experience any of us ever had. The guys in the row behind us were drunk, still drinking, kicking our seats, and yelling things like “yo, you’re a track star!” at the screen literally every 60 seconds. We had fun in the back of the cab on the way home to make up for the horrible night. The next day, we went to Peter Luger’s for burgers, bacon, and cheesecake, then went shopping to work off the food.

Sun. February 14, 2010
Nick flew to Toronto Thursday night. We spent one night in a hotel room and came back to the suburbs the following afternoon. Had dinner with my parents, sister, and her kids on Friday night and watched my dad’s band play at a bar in Bowmanville. Spent Saturday alone, cuddling, relaxing, drinking tea, and watched The Hurt Locker. Not the ideal romantic movie, but a quality film nonetheless. I romanced him with my breakfast wraps this morning and now he’s on his way back to NYC. Oh, did I mention I got in a funny creative mood and made him a “valentine” out of the photo booth picture above and glitter?

Last year we decided on Peter Luger’s as our V-Day tradition. I hope to rekindle that one next year!

I just made myself really hungry.

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