Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Technically no longer single

Last Friday, John and I went to the Old Orange County Courthouse to become legally married.

It was not exactly what I had in mind anytime I pictured myself getting married. For me, weddings always involved my church, statements before God, and the joy of leaving the building as husband and wife to go celebrate with family and friends. I intend on having that wedding... just not right now. The civil wedding plans were a necessity in order for us to submit John's immigration application with a much better chance of being accepted. In the government's eyes, if you're getting married anyway, just do it and then apply for immigration. They don't make any allowances for religious beliefs, and we don't feel like gambling on an unmarried immigration application and taking even more time to get answers.

It took me a while to work through my feelings about a civil wedding. At first I didn't seriously consider it an option; it was a last resort. As time wore on, and I thought about my dislike at the idea of having a hasty, unplanned church wedding for the sake of the government, I had to look at this option realistically. I spoke with a lot of people about it, being the type of person who relies on input from others to make decisions. My friends and family all seemed to say "why not?" (except my mother, as could be expected.) My priest was hesitant, but understanding the reasons behind a civil wedding and that it was not intended as a replacement for a church wedding, he accepts this decision and will marry us later in the church. After months of thinking, talking, and deciding, I was finally accepting of going forward with a civil wedding as a means to an end, with a promise of the religious aspects to be fulfilled at a later date.

It's kind of funny because I spent so much time leading up to the wedding worrying about how much things were going to be different and how much my life would change. Now that it's over, well, things are pretty much exactly the same. We are still apart, having to chat via IM or phone, both frustrated and lonely. John kept telling me things wouldn't be changing after we got married, and he was right. :)

The ceremony itself was the epitome of short & sweet. The whole thing was complete in under an hour and we didn't even have to refill the parking meter. We arrived, filled out our forms on a terminal, and we were the first ones called in of the bunch of us who were waiting. The deputy clerk verified our IDs, took our money, and had us sign the paperwork. She then took us to a corner room with a podium and we stood there and had the ceremony. We recited vows and that was it. I was pretty nervous leading up to it, but about halfway through my vows it hit me that this ceremony was just another step in the paperwork process -- I'll still have my opportunity to don the white dress and recite the vows surrounded by people who care about me.

After the ceremony, his mom took some pictures of us out in front of the courthouse. Then, as is the custom after a wedding, we went to Sam's Club. Seriously, we did. It makes for a funny story... "So, what did you do after you got married? Did you have a reception or celebration?" "We went to Sam's Club." I've been laughing about that ever since, LOL! After stopping there, we did go to Olive Garden for lunch. It's just that we were done at 11am and it was still early for lunch, and I wanted to stop there at some point on my visit. What? You wouldn't have done the same? :)

Had it not been for John's mom coming down and joining us to be our witness, the ceremony would have been incredibly lonely. While a wedding is technically just between two people, it is really an event that should be shared with others. We purposefully didn't ask for anyone else to join us for the civil ceremony, but I have to say that I am looking forward to having lots of people around for our church wedding. I'll try and keep that in mind when I start thinking about the money we'll have to spend to hold this event.

Since I arrived in Vegas yesterday, work colleagues have been asking me why I am not on my honeymoon or why John wasn't joining me in Vegas. What some fail to realize is that we won't really and truly feel married until it happens in front of our family and friends, and [for me] God. I am not wearing a wedding band, I did not wear a real wedding dress, and I will not be changing my name right away. All of those things will happen with and around the church wedding. Technically we will have 2 anniversaries. Some people have asked me which one we will celebrate. That's the least of our worries!!

We started to fill out the paperwork for immigration this weekend before I left for Vegas. John has to get police clearances and medical examinations completed before we file. Those will take some time to assemble, but I hope not too long. As expected, once we began actually filling out the paperwork, it created more questions. As we detail everything, we're also gathering questions which we will need clarification on. At least we have a decent legal contact now who will answer our questions.

I left SoCal on Monday in yet another tearful goodbye. I spent some time walking the Strip tonight but with the cold wind and being by myself, I wasn't finding much to do. I don't gamble, drink, nor can I afford to see a show right now. I have already filled my suitcase to the brim with a couple of items I bought in SoCal, so I can't do any more shopping because I don't have any more room (plus the stores nearby are expensive). Now I just want to go home. If I can't be with John, I just don't feel like being anywhere other than home. I leave tomorrow, and then it's back to work on Thursday.

For pics, click here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


A happy valentine's day to you all, if you choose to have one, or if you choose to ignore it, happy wednesday. I received a dozen red roses today (my favorite) from John. Thanks :)

A large storm is coming our way today, so tonight for me will be spent at home, avoiding the storm and chatting with John. Pretty much a usual evening. We'll go out for dinner next week when I'm in SoCal.

An update on my car: I happened to be talking to one of my co-workers in PEI yesterday and mentioned how I wasn't looking forward to paying in the $400 range to fix it while only having a few months left on the lease. He mentioned that he had a local supplier who sells a cheaper version of the part I need, sort of the no-name brand of part, with a 1 year warranty. Since I won't have this car a year from now, that makes no difference to me. So, I am able to get the same part for $78 +tax, then take it and just pay the 1h labour for installation. I should end up coming in under $200. That is a huge help in the money department.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Week of broken items

Yesterday the ABS warning light came on in my car. Not wanting to mess with my brakes, I took it in to be looked at today. The good news is that nothing is wrong and I am driving around safely. The bad news is that the speed sensor needs to be replaced in order for the light to go out. That sensor does not come separately, of course, but as a part of the whole wheel bearing assembly. Even after my discount, this will cost me over $400. I can ignore the light, but my lease is up in 3 months and I have to turn the car back in without problems like these. I still haven't done anything to fix the cracked front bumper, which will be an even more expensive problem. I just replaced a different wheel bearing a month ago. No more 4 year leases for me -- next time I am going to purchase or make sure my warranty is the same length of time as the lease.

My zipper also broke off on my winter jacket. This has been a pain in the ass the last few days. Now I'll have to get a new zipper put in it, which is annoying because I'll have to be without it while I drop it off to be fixed. It's just never the same when you have to rip open the original seams and re-sew a new area.


I am posting in chunks today, as the thought of a mondo update has been keeping me away from blogging.  So, small updates it is.
The only good side effect of the extreme cold is that my basement has not flooded again.  My Dad hasn't had the time to come over and start ripping up cement to make a big enough hole for the sump pump.  He is actually in Ontario getting cataract removal surgery today.  I hope he makes out ok.  They do one eye today and the other eye next month.
I did put a dent in some of the reorganization I needed to do in the basement.  I sorted and sifted through my stuffed animal collection, picking out animals which I feel could find a better home than in a box in my basement.  I hate giving animals up, which is why I am still left with 5 large plastic bins full of them, plus the animals I keep upstairs.  I sorted them and put them into a different bin depending on the type: my oldest animals, which I am keeping for sentimental reasons; my Beanie collection, and miscellaneous animals which I want to keep but aren't necessarily part of a category.  I ended up with a box of animals which I couldn't remember who gave them to me, or they didn't really hold any significance, so I decided to donate those animals to another home.  DARE is always looking for donated animals to give to children, so that is where I send them since my Dad's company is involved with the program.
By the time I was finished sorting and putting the animals into the bins, my label maker ran out of tape.  I bought new tape but haven't yet made it back down to the basement to label the last bin and begin the even larger project of sorting through my books.  That's the next step in the process.  A lot of these boxes haven't been sorted through in any kind of detail since I moved into my house, almost 3 years ago.  Some books have been boxed for even longer than that.  Should be interesting to see what long-lost items I find.
This is also a necessary step to make room for a large comic book collection which will need storage space in the [hopefully] near future.  Plastic bins are nowhere near as fun for Caly to pee on.  :)


I dropped my engagement ring off to be sized on Thursday January 18th. They said it would likely take two weeks, but they would call if it was done earlier. I left them my work phone number, since their operating hours were 10-6 during weekdays and 10-4 on Saturdays.

They called and left a message on Friday January 26th that my ring was done early... but they called at 5:40pm and I had already left the office. Since that was the only number I gave them, the message sat on my voicemail at work until Saturday at 3:30pm, when I happened to stop in my office and pick something up. By then it was too late to drive to Moncton to get it. I cursed myself for only leaving one phone number, for not thinking to check my work voicemail from home, and for a rare time where I didn't stay late at work and would have been here to get the call.

Last week was insanely busy. In order to be to Moncton before 6pm, I would have to leave work at 4pm. There was no way I could leave early last week, and also, strange as it was, there was no work reason to go to Moncton. I debated driving up on a few different nights, first Friday, but then I saw the forecast was for snow. I thought about Wednesday, but I couldn't leave early. Finally, I resigned myself to getting up and going on Saturday. Unfortunately, the weather took a turn for the worse and at the last minute, the forecast changed and the weekend storm again prevented me from going. Still cursing myself at this point, and starting to go insane... I don't have John here, this ring is all I have, dammit!

Finally, this week on Monday, I decided I was leaving work at 4pm and driving to Moncton come hell or high snowbanks. It was a pretty windy drive, and biting cold, but the roads were bare most of the way so the drive was reasonable.

So I finally got my ring back, it fits much better now that it is 1/2 size smaller. They also cleaned it and buffed out the scratch I had put into it. I am relieved to have it back.

Morals to this story:

1) Winter sucks and often changes your plans
2) Leave 2 phone numbers or obsessively check voicemail


A few days ago, when I was at a remote location, I replaced some equipment.  On the old equipment I wrote "GARBAGE" with a Sharpie and left it by the door, since it wouldn't fit in the garbage can.
This morning I picked up a voicemail from someone at that location asking me if they should throw it out.  Apparently I wasn't clear enough.
*bangs head on desk in frustration