Tag Archives: thanks

There’s No Place Like Home

Over the past few months (read: since March) my blog has been pretty much a downer. I think it was important for me to share what was happening to me throughout the deportation process, and hopefully it was helpful not just for me to get the story out of my head, but also for others who may be looking for information. And although I won’t be writing about the UKBA and my experiences with them as much (I do still have to hear back from the appeal, but that’s a post for another day), I want to let people know that they are still welcome to get in touch if they are having their own difficulties with the Agency we all love to hate. I may not have the answers you need, but hopefully I can give *some* useful advice at this point. Or at least lend a sympathetic ear.

But on to what I wanted to write about today: Gratitude. Because I’m feeling super grateful these days. Let me ‘splain why.

When I was chucked out of the UK, I had an amazing group of supportive people there. People who opened up their homes when I had to give up my flat. People who took in my stuff when my stuff was too much stuff to stuff on a plane and take with me to Canada. People who offered to write letters, to stage protests, to host charity pubcrawls to raise the money to pay for the lawyer. People who gave all the hugs. People who raged at their own government long after I stopped being rage-y. People who shared my story. People who reached out with their own stories.

And now that I’m back in good ole Canada (even though it’s temporary) I’m grateful again for the people here. For those who were at the airport to greet me and then ate ice cream sandwiches with me. Those who roamed around Vancouver and chatted like it hasn’t been years since the last time I saw them. Those who found a place for me to sleep within a house of young’uns. Those who took me in and then drove me the long drive to my mother’s house.

Then there is my moms.

How grateful am I to her and Harv (who is my awesome stepdad)? I’ve been here for weeks now, boys and girls. Weeks. And last time I checked I was nearly 40 and they’ve had no problem letting me stay like it’s no big deal. And I’m so grateful to them both. For being on my side. For letting me stay without having to worry about my finances. For feeding me all the home-cooked meals I’ve been missing for years now. For providing a safe place where I don’t feel like I’m a burden.

All the grateful.

And you know what? Even though it totally sucks big hairy donkey balls that I didn’t get to stay in the UK, the most important thing isn’t where I am; the important things are the people that I love and the people who love and care about me. And you know what? ┬áThe UKBA can’t take that from me.

And for that, I’m grateful.

Flatmate FTW

>So, I may have borked my blog template by accident. I don’t even know exactly what I did. But I was upset that I had done it. Mostly because I couldn’t find a simple replacement that I liked.

Times like this it helps to have a coderguy for a flatmate… Tyran came in and sorted out stuff in three seconds that would have taken me 1000000 years.

Yay! This almost makes up for the fact that I’ve not yet caught him washing the kitchen floor.

Almost.

The Wish Bracelet

In the spring my co-worker went to Brazil to escape work and London for awhile by doing some great work with kids who needed some attention. While she was there, she picked up these ribbons that are meant to be tied on the wrist like a bracelet.

She explained that you were to wish on the bracelet. That as she tied it on to my wrist, she would make three knots and I was to make a wish with each knot she tied. The idea was that when the bracelet fell of – “fell off”, not “was taken off” – the wishes would come true.

Why wouldn’t I want one of those? Especially since they came in orange. So the ribbon was tied on and I made my wishes.

How I made my wishes are so indicative of my personality it is ridiculous. Seriously. I made my first wish, my second… but when it came time to make my third I realised that the first wish could be misinterpreted by the universe (or wish faeries, or whatever) that I used my third wish to clarify the first. No mythical loopholes for me, Fate. I’ve come across too many stories with cheeky genies to fall for your crap.

I won’t, of course, share what I wished for.

That night someone brought up why we all seem to believe that we have to keep a wish secret or it won’t come true. What’s with that? Why does saying it outloud in front of others render it non-fulfillable?

I don’t have an answer for that, but I do have an answer for why I don’t share my wishes. I think your wishes – real wishes – expose a secret place in your heart. They illuminate your true fears and insecurities. Your weaknesses. Every wish you confess is another card you are laying on the table. So I don’t tell people my wishes unless they are silly and I don’t really mean them… or if they come true.

Okay, so I made my wishes and I went back to the party. Someone said to me, “Ah, I see she got you too”. I thought the ribbon bracelet was kind of cool and said so. To which was retorted, “Did she tell you how long that damned thing might stay on before she started making the knots?”

No, no she didn’t. That stupid ribbon is pretty resilient, apparently, and can potentially stay on a year or more. A year? Or more? No, no, no! I want my wishes NOW, damn it!

I wasn’t going to cut the bracelet off, even though it quickly got pretty ratty fairly quickly. It wasn’t tied on very tightly in the first place and as it rolled around my wrist it went from being a pretty orange flat ribbon to a dirty orangish rope. I think the situation was made worse by the work I was doing then at Songkick – carrying shit and constantly washing dishes probably didn’t help the state of affairs in regards to my bracelet (or in regards to my job satisfaction, for that matter).

The other people who had been given bracelets were fairing much differently than I was: either their ribbons still looked rather pristine or they had already punked out and cut them off. Mine looked like a dirty piece of string but was showing no signs of actually falling off.

Until it fell off.

I noticed Tyran’s bracelet (she got him, too) at the pub after Waiting for Godot last Tuesday and mentioned that it didn’t look half as craptacular as mine did. I pushed up my sleeve to show him my bracelet and it was gone. I actually had a moment of “oh my God, where is it?” before realising that it was a good thing that the ugly little wish-rope had actually fallen off. It means that my wishes will come true and I won’t have to wait a bloody year for it to happen.

Have my wishes come true? Well, one of them may have so I can share it. The wish that I double-downed on has decidedly NOT come true yet (although I am still hopeful) so I’ll keep that one a secret for now.

My second wish was to have a job where I look forward to coming in to work on Mondays. Now, I won’t say I’m looking forward to work on a Sunday night quite yet (I do so enjoy sleeping in), but I don’t dread it which is a marked improvement over my last two jobs. And I have a feeling that once my commute isn’t so long I’ll look forward to my weekdays even more. Further, I think that as I grow more and more comfortable in my role and with my co-workers, going to work could potentially get more and more pleasurable.

Although I’m pretty sure that the bracelet falling off and the new job getting fun happening at around the same time is purely coincidental, I’m still thankful for the Brazillian wish-bracelet. Here’s hoping that it works just as well on my other wish.

Moving… not fun but a great excuse not to blog

>So, I moved again. I’m not even sure how many times that makes it that I’ve moved. A lot. I would say more than 25 times, and that does NOT include moving between Kampoops and Quesmell during the summers when I was going to university. That’s a lot of moving.

I hate moving. I hate packing. I hate that I always end up with a bunch of stuff that can be tossed out AFTER I’m in the new place. Why can’t I figure that shite out before I flipping move?

As previously mentioned, the Quad saved my ass and let me stay with them for just over a month while I found a new job and managed to get myself a paycheck. I was repeatedly told that I could stay longer if I needed to (I’m telling you, these guys are awesome) but I just couldn’t keep freeloading. Or commuting. I have so little soul left… I don’t need the District Line to suck the bit remaining out along with my will to live every weekday morning.

So as soon as I gots paid, I started looking for a place in east London. I found a place last Monday and moved in yesterday. The new place is small and I don’t know the people I live with. Living with strangers is not always fun, but these guys seem cool (that’s why I chose this place). The neighbourhood is dodgy, to say the least, but there is a lot going on and I can walk to work.

The move itself was not too bad – I was already still mostly packed as I was just squatting temporarily at the Quad. I don’t have too much stuff and Tyran and Caryn were nice enough to help me toss it all into the van. And Tyran came out to Hackney (my new ‘hood) with me to help me unpack. Which is all kinds of awesome of him.

The room is just a room… it isn’t huge but it is big enough for the likes of me. I really love the floors. There is no lounge (or “living room” as we would say back home) and the kitchen is tiny. But I mostly eat at work and hang out in front of my PC anyway. Once the extra couch (oh yah, extra couch) is out of here and I get a cheap wardrobe purchased from Argos, I’ll be all set and settled in for the next few months at least.

The flatmates are pretty cool – there are three of them, a couple and another girl. One’s British, one’s Italian and one’s Polish. All of them are very friendly and cool. They’ve made me feel very welcome already and I think it will nice to live here with them.

The neighbourhood is… well, colourful seems like the nicest adjective. There are a lot of estates and the streets seem like they are always full of people. I’ve asked my new flatmates a few times now if they’ve ever felt threatened or anything and none of them have. As Lucinda put it, “They’re poor, they’re not dangerous.” Fair enough.

So, bottom line is that I’m not settled in 100% yet but I’m feel good about the space and I do think it will work out. I don’t know how long I will be here… but I tells ya one of these days I’m going to pick a place and stay still for at least a few years.

New Digs

>
Two weeks ago I moved. I’ve been meaning to blog about it but I thought I would wait until the memory had faded at least a wee bit.

Moving always agitates me.

Nothing ever goes 100% the way it should. Things go missing (or at least appear to if, like me, you aren’t bright enough to fully label your boxes… wanna guess how many of my boxes just say “misc” on them?)*, you realise you should have started cleaning ages ago, the van is late, etc, etc… all of it agitates me.

On top of that, we should be aware that I didn’t really want to move. Well, I did and I didn’t. The mold and cold was starting to get to me. But spring was coming (so I thought, before the snow hit) and the landlords were very reassuring about getting the mold issue dealt with… eventually. I guess I needed to move, but I didn’t want to move. But I didn’t really have a choice. Two months of unemployment in one of the world’s most expensive cities takes away some vital choices, I tells ya.

I was also very concerned with the fact that I would go from living on my own to living with a bunch of people again. I may sometimes come across as a “people person” (I just made myself shudder with that) but I really, really value my alone time. So I was nervous about having to live with four other people.

I was also going to be moving further out of the city. Which means a longer Tube ride to wherever I was going (unless I was coming here, I suppose) and you know how much I freaking love the freaking Tube.

So I wasn’t too keen on the moving thing. Too many worries. But you know what? It is actually awesome. To the max.

First of all, how cool are the people I moved in with? They know I’m flat broke and that I was having to look at leaving the country. So they gave me their spare room. Now I can stay in London and I’m so happy about that.

Then they helped me move all my boxes into the house. Hoozah! They have made me dinner (and breakfast) and have generally been just kick-ass to spend time with.

I have to also add that Tyran brought home kimchi for me yesterday… and no one complained (too much) about the horrid stink it made in the fridge**. It was delicious and I was pleased that he had even thought of it.

So I really do have to thank Tyran, Gosia, Stefan (who finally made mention in the blog without me taking the piss… well done, dude) and even Gareth. I just hope they know exactly how much this means to me (I’m not very good with telling people stuff like that) and that one day I’ll be able to pay them off in kind and then some.

*One thing I do like about moving is that I can draw skulls & crossbones on my boxes with fragile things in them and devise curses to befall anyone who is too rough with my shite. But seeing as how I’m usually the one moving me… the curses are really just there to make me giggle. That’s right. I think I’m funny.

**This kimchi-stink has been weirding me out. I know it has a nasty smell… but it seemed to stink the fridge up something fierce. Much worse than I ever remember in Korea. So now I’m wondering if it smelled less in Korea, if I was just that used to the stink, or if the whole flipping country stunk of kimchi so you didn’t notice the smell emanating from your refrigeration unit.

>Captain Turbotastic gives thanks (sort of) to Professor Green

>Brendan finds it necessary to send me news clippings every once in a while. I’m not sure why… perhaps he is worried that I don’t learn as much when I read articles in the form of electronic light instead of in the form of good old-fashion ink and paper. Whatever his motives, every once in a while I received an unmarked envelope that is filled with a potpourri of articles. Some of them I’m sure he has sent because he thinks I’ll be interested in them. Others I believe he sends because I should be interested in them.

When I told Brendan that I was thinking about blogging about some of my reactions to his articles, he insisted on getting kudos (or at least mention) for being the one to bring the articles to my attention in the first place.

So now we know Brendan’s real motive in sending those articles: Fame. He has always secretly hoped that I would write about his articles in my blog and that would herald his arrival on the interwebs scene, perhaps initiating some sort of new “Brendan Meme”.

Chump. No one reads my blog. If you want to see your name on the interwebs, start updating your own blog again. I’m tired of it sitting there, defunct and forgotten. Poor Brendan Blog.

Anyway, so there will be a few entries in the near future that are referencing articles. Yes, they will all be referring to the articles that dear, sweet Brendan has sent to me in order to brighten my day and make me just that little bit smarter. So here’s your mention, B. Don’t expect me to do it again.

>Desperation is a stinky cologne

>First, let me precede this blog post by saying, no… no I haven’t got so desperate that I’m now shopping for guys on “Mail Order Husbands”. Close, but not quite.

I found the site through other blogs, so I’m behind a bit on this one. I still thought I would share though, just in case y’all aren’t reading the same blogs I am.

Also let me add that as far as I can tell, mailorderhusbands.net is a real site where you can actually buy a husband. I’ve heard tell they range in price from about $400 to $9000 (for a real good ‘un).

In case you’re strapped for cash, they accept all major credit cards and there is even a layaway plan.

They do hook you in with a picture of a happy couple on the homepage, staring lovingly into each other’s attractive faces.

I don’t know how much he costs though…

Note the actual eligible bachelors aren’t quite as, um… “photogenic as the dude on the homepage” is probably the kindest way to word this sentence.

This is Andrew, ladies.

The bachelors themselves are awesome. They’ve written a wee blurb about themselves so if their picture isn’t enough to rev your engine, ladies, perhaps the pure magic of their linguistic prowess will. For your convenience, here were some of the gems I personally enjoyed:

Leonard: After a string of bad luck, I’m looking a get me a good woman who’s got some dough.

Buzet: I am looking for someone who can hold my attention, keep up with me, and who knows how to dress a wound. I am attracted to a girl with a job and a car. preferably a Camarro.

::SIDE NOTE::

Does that say, “who knows how to dress a wound”? HAWT!

::END SIDE NOTE::

Daryl: My parents are kicking me out after December and I’d like to meet a woman with a lot of money so we can have fun. I like women between 18-45, but would consider older if we do not have to touch a lot.

Philip: I live in a crappy basement apartment and I’m hoping to go somewhere warm and sunny. If you have money and you aren’t in Canada please email me.

::SIDE NOTE::

From all the amazing chicks in Canader, Phil: bite me.

::END SIDE NOTE::

Steven: I’m definitely a classic romantic. I like a candlelight dinner, some quiet background music, and a couple hits of ether. I prefer a woman that has insurance and a car would be great as I need to make the occassional trip to Mexico to pick up “souvenirs”.

Bertram: I got booted off Match.com for cyber stalking but I’m better now.

Andrew: As a 23 year old balding man I’m in a hurry to find love.

Marcus: Ever drank paint thinner? Don’t! trust me its a bad idea. I’m a fun lovin’ guy who knows a few magic tricks.

Lenny: I’m 7-foot-5 and looking for love. You likey the love? Tall guys have it going on… you know what I’m saying? oh yeah! I’m also pierced, and I don’t mean in the ear…

Jeb: Hi there ladies, pick me. I’m itchin’ to start a new life in an exciting place. I got bought by some lady in London, but she didn’t like me, so I’m back.

David: Ladies, serving your needs is my game. Actually rugby is my game.

Earl: I deal in reality…and the reality is that I’m ready for love. I can chop lots of wood and can even climb a greased pole. I keep in shape by chasing chickens around my back yard. I keep my self clean and take baths weekly.

Mike: I am very romantic and in very good condition,.. but I won’t be available for about 18 months, but I’m happy to write letters. I’m up for parole next month, so I’m hoping to be available sooner.

Fuad: Ladies, I’m still available. I’ve been here for about 2 years. what gives? Don’t ya wanna party with me? woohoo… They lowered my price twice already. I’m a red-hot special, come and get me.

::SIDE NOTE::

There is so much about this one I could snark about. Instead, let me leave it at this: Faud? Really?

::END SIDE NOTE::

I wish I could tell you that the fun ends on the “Husbands” page, but this website is a delight, friends and neighbours. You must promise to check out the “Success Stories” page, which has naught but one story on it at the moment.

Arlina met her husband, Mark, through the MOH print catalog. Their affection blossomed when Arlina sent for him in his homeland of Latvia. Mark’s understanding of English is rough due to his learning disabilities, but they are both fluent in the language of love.

Why isn’t this on the homepage?

I freaking LOVE them! I hope those crazy kids make it!

And the fun STILL doesn’t stop! They have a compatibility test as well… you should give it a try and find your ideal mail-order husband match (this is a whole bucket of fun!) For those of you who are going to be too lazy to click over to this wonderful, wonderful site, here is a sampling of my favourite test questions (I hope you are feeling the love):

Q. Does spending a lot of time with a new group of people

  • stimulate and energize you
  • make you itchy and sweaty

Q. Are you more impressed by

  • principles–thinking of how things occur objectively
  • emotions–feeling the way things personally impress you
  • neither–you’re confusing me

Q. Do you prefer to work

  • to deadlines
  • work? I haven’t worked in 2 years.

Q. Are you more likely to

  • stay in the “here and now”
  • converse with imaginary friends

Q. Which of these characteristics do you identify with

  • I enjoy being friendly and helping others
  • I have been known to torture small animals

Q. How often to you bathe

  • more than once a week
  • less than once a week

Q. Events are more comfortable for you if

  • you can participate in them with your decisions
  • you can watch from a safe distance behind bushes

Q. Your decisions mostly are based on

  • logic and facts
  • emotions and personal values (i.e. nonsense)

Rarely does a website make me feel simultaneously so giggly and superior. Thank you so much, Mail Order Husbands! Yours is the best website I’ve stumbled upon in a long, long time. Bless you.