Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Spring Has Sprung
Spring has sprung,
The grass is ris'
I wonder where the birdies is....

It occurs to me today that I have truly become that suburban housewife that I used to lament, when an indication that all is right with the world is the twice (not once, but TWICE!) weekly, fully-automated garbage pick-up and bi-weekly recyclables (also fully-automated) pick-up. Oh the joy that is derived by the husband's wheeling out of the handy dandy, city supplied, neat and tidy garbage barrel.

Ah yes. Bliss I tell you, true bliss. Gone are the days of the underpaid and overworked laborers who toss the can every which way, oft times in the middle of the street and/or breaking the lid after emptying them into the back of the truck.

Gone. Like a bad storm having blown through my tidy little Stepford neighborhood.

In its stead, you see this:


All the same, all set on the curb according to the mandate dictated by the city I live in.

How sad is it that it is a source of pleasure for me?

I mean really.

And don't you even get me STARTED on the twinge of annoyance I feel every time I pass my front door from inside and am met with the glaring faux pas that is this:


Can you imagine? Look at the size of that mess of a spot that was left on my beloved driveway by someones vehicle! How can you see anything BUT that black offending spot of doom?

My world is truly off its axis.

In a perfect world, God would send down the cleansing rains to rid my driveway of this offense:


And this one:


Whatever will I do? What WILL the neighbors think??


*Note to self: Get a freakin life.*

Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Music to his ears, like nails on a chalkboard.
I am nothing, if not disorganized. Lately my days seem to consist of morning trips to the nursing home to see Oldilocks, afternoons of scrambling to play catch-up on the daily chores required to keep the Casa G. somewhat orderly, and evenings of assisting The Hubs (okay once. I helped him on Sunday. Or mainly I kept him company.) in the garage of doom, readying his car for Spring Break Nationals which are this coming weekend.

And might I say, I hate his garage. And his car. And Spring Break Nationals. And car audio. I may or may not even say it often, as a matter of fact. TOO OFTEN, much to the chagrin of The Hubs. Seriously. I milk that puppy for all it is worth, starting in oh...about October. I'm creative about it. The time takes so much time away from the family when every weekend is spent with him holed up in the garage. It seriously cuts into my golf time and my game suffers. It is costly. Need I go on? Yeah, I thought not. You get the idea. And you know, I don't quit pissing and moaning about it until after it is over, the second to last weekend in March. And that, my friends, is some seriously valuable bitching time. That requires talent, lamenting the angst that is brought upon my person by my husband's desire to make his car sound better than Chico, Jesus' and Jose's all sound. Who else do you know that can bitch about one topic for a full six months? Like really stretch it out and make it sing, like music to the ears?

I know, right?

Maybe I shall have to start warming up in about July this year. Just to make sure I'm on top of my game. I'm sure The Hubs will love me all the more for it.

Do me a favor though, will you? Don't tell The Hubs that in all actuality, this year's undertakings were pretty painless. Cost effective, even.

We don't want him getting the wrong idea, after all.

Giving credit where due, last year at Spring Break Nationals, he won the class in which he was entered. Just ask me, I'll tell you ALL about it. I still haven't found a spot to put the 6 foot tall trophy he brought home.

Well, I did find one spot, but he was not real receptive to the idea.

Friday, March 16, 2007
There are people who would pay good money...
For me to be silent this long. Just ask my husband. Or my kid, when I am giving orders. Slave driver that I am...

Life continues at a hectic pace, especially for someone who doesn't have to work. It seems like I have been going at a dead run since I was last here, but I am told that life gets in the way like that, sometimes.

The prodigy is on spring break and therefore, even when I am home, I am battling him for the computer. Except I don't really battle, it is nice to not be attached to it, so I have been off doing other things.

Oldilocks took a tumble last weekend and broke her arm, so my Saturday past was spent in the emergency room; putting in time. They decided that she needed to be admitted because not only is she right handed and unable to do much of anything, she is very unsteady on her feet and at danger of hurting herself with another fall. So, she is now in a nursing home for a period of rehabilitation. Trust me when I tell you she is unimpressed. The break at home is nice for the Family G, though.

The Hubs is in full swing with preparations for Spring Break Nationals, the HUGE car audio competition and show at Daytona Beach next suffice it to say I go back and forth between wanting to kill him and...well, wanting to kill him.

So far he has been lucky.

Next week I get serious about finding out what I need to do in order to go to school. Something that I am a little nervous about. My math will definitely need brushing up, it has never been my strong suit. Like The Hubs said though, it is pretty basic math...not like I am going to have to find the square root of someones ass.

Thursday, March 08, 2007
Yes, well penicillin is all about mold, too
I love cheese.

And there you have it, it is just that simple. A good deli is a dangerous place to bring me, for I am easily distracted by the shiny that is good cheese. All the different regions and flavors and wine pairings, tucked in amongst all the other sinfully delicious pleasures that are good food....mmmm-mmmm-good. The key word there being GOOD. I do not refer to sub-par over processed fast foods as good. Or even most grocery store 'bests' as good. Good food, to me, is usually without any additives or preservatives, requires a great deal of preparation and is not a quick fix. And while I absolutely LOVE to cook, time does not always permit.

Insert the love that is the deli...

Our favorite deli, as a matter of fact, has a free-pour micro brewery where you just help yourself while you shop. I ask you, what could possibly be better than that? Like help yourself to the point of bringing in a designated driver, if you choose. The looser the free-pour, the looser the wallet. And the looser the wallet is a good thing, when selling premium food products. It is sound business sense, really. I may or may not be just a little bit in love with this particular deli. As a matter of fact, I may just ask it to marry me, the next time I am there; so The Hubs and I can cancel that outing off the 'date' status list and I can just move right in with the deli. Why did it take me this long to think of this? Duh!

Heaven on earth, in the form of wine tastings, samples of really great products and THE absolute best meat market I have ever laid eyes on, even superseding that of my small town butcher's shop in the heart of that land known as Alberta beef country. Imagine. It is just THAT good.

A trip there is tantamount to finding all that is right with the world, effortlessly.

At any rate...while I would consider myself to be a connoisseur of the cheese, I had yet to try one that I have been hearing about for years. It is called COMTE and is basically the beluga caviar of the cheese clique. The fois gras of the dairy department.

Yesterday, I found it. Finally! I picked it up without hesitation, armed myself with a fresh artisan baguette and some red wine and set out to imbibe in one of the finer things the culinary world has to offer.

*insert wilting flower emoticon here*

I hated it.

No matter how many times I tried to taste it after the first attemot, I just couldn't get past the earthiness of it. As I was mourning the loss of something I never knew to begin with, but felt deprived of just the same, The Hubs walked in the door and I showed it to him while giving him something of an education about it. He tried it, declared it wasn't bad, and asked me to cut him a chunk of it. Gladly. Here you go, enjoy!

I settled for a piece of very sharp cheddar (it was the only other I had in the house) to pair with the bread and wine and The Hubs went to change out of his work clothes. Upon his return to the kitchen, he picked up the cheese and proceeded to nibble. Somewhat distracted by other food preparation, I went about my business, chattering to him all the while (The kitchen is very much the axis of our home and the place where most of the talking happens for The Family G, before the hubs and the prodigy retreat back into communication in the form of grunts. Therefore? When the opportunity for conversation happens, I tend to chatter. Maybe, possibly a little bit). Upon turning around, I see The Hubs, fingers to his nose and sniffing his hands, one after the other.

Eyebrow arched, I had to laugh. He looked at me, inquiring as to what was funny and I let him know that I knew exactly what he was doing...which? Was smelling his fingers to see if it was them that smelled badly or the cheese.

THAT is how earthy this cheese tasted. My husband, with his discerning tastes, couldn't figure out if he had forgotten to wash his hands after scratching his posterior or if it was the very expensive cheese.

I don't know what is worse, that he washed his hands and then continued to eat the cheese, proclaiming that it was probably bum-fingers; or that this very expensive cheese just flat out tasted like ass smells.

For the record, the rest of that particular cheese? ALL his.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007
So, how do you like them apples?
When The Leester and I made the decision to move the family G., it was very much about The Adventure!, The Change!, The Life!

(insert random scoffing and laughter at THOSE PEOPLE who get caught in the rut that is the day to day grind and never branch out to see what life has to offer. We would NEVER be come THOSE PEOPLE, dammit. We would not die within a thirty mile radius of all we knew, nose to the grindstone and barely existing.).

It was done basically on a whim because we discovered quite by accident that we could. We had heard about the Canadian brain drain to the USA and figured, what the hell? So, I put together a resume for my beloved and fired it out there. I tossed SO much shit figuring that the more wall you hit, the more likely you are to receive a response.

Well, within something like two weeks, he had 110 interested hits. Suddenly, this whim became about possibilities.

*Insert screeching break sounds here*

Suddenly, this could be a reality. Amazement ensued. Commence hurried selling of home, gathering of documents, picking of location, etc. and we were off. In a flash; destination, The Sunshine State. Holy SHIT was I scared. Leaving my family...gaaah! My sisters! Gaaaaah! My nieces and nephews! GAAAAAAH! (I'm still not over that one, so don't make me think about it, or I WILL cry. It's a given) We had dinner together the night before we left and I literally felt as though my heart was being ripped out of my chest. My family...gaaaah! I had torn asunder the family unit. The very family unit that had my Dad had his way would live all tidily on a Kennedy-esque compound very safely gathered under his wing, sheltered and protected. (Fat lot of good it did the Kennedy's, I mean really. I know, right? But come on, you get my point. The man takes his job seriously. Even today..which Dad? HULLO, we grew up. You did it. Now chill out, dude! :P)(He may or may not still lecture me every time we talk, even today. But you know...that's okay. I like to believe I am beyond reproach at this stage of the game, he likes to believe otherwise. We agree to disagree. It works for us. But anyway, I and my extreme overuse of the love that is the parentheses, we digress.)(Where were we...oh yes...)

We came to Florida initially on a T-1 VISA through the NAFTA agreement. I wont bore you with the details, but suffice it to say it was valid for one year and I spent a great amount of energy extending it yearly. Like 8 months of the year was focused on this crap. Commence stress and hair pulling, compounded by anxiety. Three years and $6000.00 into that routine, we had it changed to an H1B VISA, good for a certain length of time, still a temporary gig. Factor in a job change (which also meant a VISA change and another $4000.00) and you have us where we are at today. After 7 years on this one, we have no choice but to leave the country for a minimum period of one year.

Well, having brought us all up to date, it is now time for renewal. We very much hope to be able to get our green cards and work towards being here permanently. So, I have contacted several immigration attorneys to find out what this entails. let me share the truncated version with you. This is boring me.

$20,000.00 and three years until final go ahead to apply for a green card. Currently, the green cards for Canadian citizens trying to come to the USA is backlogged 5 years. Factor in however many additional backlog years that will come into play until the year 2010 when we could apply and I'm figuring we could probably be sworn in as citizens about the time we would like to be considering retirement.

Seriously. Best case scenario, we could apply for citizenship in 13 years. Okay, so early retirement, but still.

And then? A dear friend of mine asked me one simple question... That question being, is it worth it?

Some days, it really isn't. Some days I want nothing more than to go back to what in my heart, based on historical value and memories, feels like home. Yet when I am there, I don't want to be there. The physical location doesn't do a hell of a lot for me and I really love life here. Going back would be exactly that, going back.

And lets face it. The golf is better here. When I am on the golf course, it is most definitely worth it.

The lawyers advice? Do what everyone else on the planet who wants to come here does. Get my nursing degree.

Me, a student. Imagine.

So that is plan B, the more viable and MUCH less expensive option. And seriously? I started talking about nursing school no less than 20 years ago. Funny how fate does that, right? Comes up and bites you on the ass? Although really, my extended vacation has been more than 6 years sweet. It looks like playtime may, in fact, be over.

The hubs? He is amused and I think kinda feels like this could mean early retirement for him while I secure our future.. Good thing he has a thing for nurses, cause if he doesn't change that line of thought he will need them. And possibly a few orthopedic surgeons. Just don't tell him I said so; deal?

I suppose that alternately, I could take Steen's advice and go vacation in Cuba and then swim back.

What do you mean that I dont look Cuban with the auburn hair and freckles?