One year ago today…

September 28, 2010 § 4 Comments

Today is the one year anniversary of the start of my Immigration Quest.

At approximately 5:30 am, September 28, 2009, I encountered the most intrusive customs officer I’d ever come across. He asked me questions about how much money I had in my bank account, how I earned it, and other questions you aren’t really prepared for when traveling. When my responses failed to meet his expectations, he sent me into secondary screening where I told them I was engaged and learned shortly after that they don’t like to let Canadians into America with the intention of marrying the loves of their lives.

The best things in life don’t come easy and instead of drowning in our complicated situation, we rose above the obstacles and now we’re together for good and stronger and happier than ever.


September 27, 2010 § 2 Comments

On Friday, I traveled all the way to the USCIS office I have apparently been assigned to, and although it’s in Brooklyn, it took me three subways and an hour and a half to get there. Located in what my Not For Tourists guide tells me is desolate and dismal Borough Park, the office was tucked away in an anonymous-looking white plaza and the only thing identifying the place was a black and white sign that simply said “Application Center” in helvetica.

Contrary to the appearance of both the building and the area, the office was filled with some of the nicest workers I’ve encountered in my immigration journey. There was no line and the guy I gave my appointment letter and ID too thanked me profusely for thinking ahead and bringing my marriage certificate since my ID and letter had different last names on them. The lady who took my biometrics (fingerprints and photo) kind of reminded me of Laverne from Scrubs. She patiently tried to scan my fingerprints into the computer although, as I learned on Friday, I apparently don’t really have fingerprints. Sure, they’re there, but my fingertips are so smooth that she got a hundred error messages before finally saying “That’s as good as it’s gonna get!” Maybe years of bass playing wore down my fingertips? But then that doesn’t explain my right hand. Oh, the things I continue to learn about myself while going through these things.

Thankfully I got back on the N train and out of Borough Park unscathed and rewarded myself with some window shopping at Crate & Barrel.

Autumn Reading

September 23, 2010 § 4 Comments

Fall is my favourite time of year. Sure, it’s not as exciting as Summer, but it’s by far the most pleasant, nostalgic, and relaxing season with the return of pants, bare branches, and warm drinks. Also, for some reason, every Fall for the past 6 years or so, I get cravings to re-read certain books.

#1 Autumn Reading Craving: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I still have my college friend Lindsay’s copy of the book that was given to her by an old boyfriend. There’s a note about his trip on the Go Train inside that always makes me laugh. The story is really cute too.

#2 Autumn Reading Craving: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. I love stories about young men, maybe because I’ll never get to experience the strangeness of growing into being a man.

#3 Autumn Reading Craving: Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. It’s the most recent, as it just came out last Fall. I got it for my birthday from my parents and it served as a great way to get my mind off being exiled in Canada by imagining I was one of a set of twins living in London and dealing with the ghost of my aunt while living in her former residence in a cemetery. (The hardcover version is gorgeous!)

Do you have any Fall reading favourites? I’d love some new recommendations!

Photos, photos, and more photos

September 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

More Intelligent Life currently has a great feature on “Extreme Dogs”. Check out portraits of a variety of interesting breedsĀ here.

I love Max Wanger’s latest set of wedding photos for couple Sean and Ashley. Not only are they in the typically gorgeous style Max always brings to photos, but Ashley’s poufy dress is adorable and fun and her turquoise shoes are so cute!

The cover of Rolling Stone features mine and everyone else’s current favourite show, Mad Men. The cover shot is stunning, but so are the behind-the-scenes black & white photos where you can see Betty Draper on a cellphone and some of the ad men playing with Mac laptops.


September 14, 2010 § 3 Comments

Have you heard of Pinterest? My tech-savvy friend Courtney brought this new website to my attention yesterday.

What makes this different than other social media sites? Well, it’s not so much about how many friends you have or writing on “walls”, it’s not even necessarily about posting hundreds of photos of yourself and your life. It’s geared towards those who harbour an immense appreciation for eye-pleasing objects found on the internet and instead of just saving these things to your desktop, it gives you the opportunity to share these things with like-minded people on your “pinboard” and gives you a place to be able to go back and look at for inspiration.

The community seems to be in early development, but if you’re someone with great taste and would like an online catalog of things you love, you should join and make sure you follow me too!

Labour Day Weekend

September 2, 2010 § 2 Comments

Some of you are already off on your travels for your long Labour Day weekend, and to those of you attempting to fly on the East coast, I wish you good luck! The hurricane has been making everyone nervous. Nick and his friends were forced to leave their rented beach house on the Outer Banks, but luckily, they still get to spend another day and a half together in the much safer D.C. area. I’m not going anywhere, but I do have a couple friends in town I’m looking forward to seeing. I’m sure when Nick gets home on Saturday, we’ll both be reminiscing about last Labour Day weekend because that’s when we got engaged!

I feel like I’ve told the internet everything else that’s happened as far as the immigration adventures and wedding details, so for those who don’t know the story, here’s a little recap…

Nick suggested a trip for the two of us for the long weekend. We decided to visit Ocean City, Maryland and enjoy a few days of the ocean, cheesy tourists, great people-watching, and seafood.

We had the engagement conversation a few weeks prior and because of our delicate, international relationship details, we knew we had to figure out our future together sooner than later. Needless to say, I was in that silly girl state where your imagination runs wild and every moment that is remotely romantic becomes a possibility for a proposal.

We had been in Ocean City for a couple days and had a few nice dinners, spent some relaxing time together, but nothing yet! One night, we decided to dress up like the other “tourists” on the boardwalk and went out to buy tye-dye t-shirts and shark tooth coral necklaces. We had an amazing night playing on the boardwalk at the arcade, riding the ferris wheel, and taking photobooth pictures. Nick suggested that we get up early the next morning to watch the sun rise on the beach.

We get up at about 5 am. We stumble out of bed. I put on my “tourist t-shirt” from the night before (an iron-on of horses galloping surrounded by lightning!) and we walk down to the beach. My sleepy mind is thinking “this is romantic! I think he’s going to do it now!” We sit in the sand, his arm around me, watching the sun rise over the water. After taking some photos of the pretty sky, the sun has fully risen. “Hmm”, I think, “Maybe another time then.” Nick says “alright, let’s go”, but then after walking just a few steps, stops and gets down on one knee, pulls out my ring, tells me some really sweet things, then asks me to marry him. My first reaction was “REALLY!?” then of course I said yes.

We celebrated the only way we knew how – by driving to Dunkin Donuts at 6 am and getting a half dozen of their treats to share, eating them in bed, while watching Eddie Murphy’s Biography. The rest is history!

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