Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Happy Frigging Birthday to Me

The 21st was my birthday, and while I'm not old, I am now officially not young. Twenty-six is definitely not 30, but it's so oppressively close that I have already begun to lament my youth.

Mostly, I am afraid I can't put off procreating much longer. However, since I have spent most of the last eight years trying to get my shit together and figure out what I'm going to do for a living, I don't have a career to speak of as yet. The fact that I am now unemployed does little to assauge my guilt in this department.

It's not my fault! I can't work in this country yet, but I can now freely travel back and forth to Buffalo, thanks to a very nice Immigration officer I met on my birthday. So I've been looking for work there.

But, here's the problem: I have found exactly zero jobs that I am qualified to perform and that pay enough money to warrant a daily commute of 45 minutes and $4.75 in tolls.

This being said, Lunger (the husband) and I traveled to Buffalo to eat dinner at Carraba's and spend some of our American gift cards (Christmas presents) on my birthday. It was awesome. If there's a Carraba's near you, go. I know it's a chain restaurant, but dammit, they serve good chow.

Anyway, as we crossed back over the border into Canada, we pulled up to be inspected by one of the depressingly abundant GWT's. Yes, guards with 'tude.

"Could you drive any more crooked?" she asked my husband.
"Um. I guess I could..." he mumbled and handed over our passports.
"Wait. You're Canadian and she's American?! What do you have to declare?"
"We bought some glasses," he told her.
"And some DVD's. Oh. And I have a pack of cigarettes in my pocket," I offered.

We explained to her that I needed my passport stamped as official proof of the day I entered the country so we could file for my residency from inside Canada.

"Don't you have a job?"
"Not right now, no," I told her.
"But you won't be able to work!" she exclaimed.
"Yes, I know." I replied.
"But you won't have a job!" she continued.
"My husband has a job." I indicated Lunger. Here, her face twisted into a sneer.
"What did you do for a living before now?" Her eyes narrowed.
"I worked as a registration clerk in an emergency room." She scoffed.
"Pull to the left and go into the immigration building," rolling her eyes and slightly shaking her head.

To make a long story short, the guy inside Immigration was really cool. He gave me all the papers I needed and answered all my questions.

So I haven't been employed for six months! So what? It's not like I'm on welfare. I cook, I clean! Lunger pays his taxes! Like she's some ground-breaking feminist because she's a border guard. Hah! Bet she's never been to a Women's Action Coalition meeting. So what if I only went once because their Communist overtones freaked me out!

I feel bad enough because a man is supporting me. I don't need some self-important public servant telling me I live in the stoneage. I'm smart enough to figure that out for myself. Besides, Lunger only asks for a few things: clean animal skins, tidy cave, fresh berries, and the occasional undercooked woolly mammoth. It's not like I purposely refuse to take advantage of the opportunities provided for me by my predecessors in the women's rights struggle. I'm just an alien, sheesh.

Monday, January 23, 2006

I'm Back...Bwah ha ha

Not that anyone is reading my blog any more, but hey, I'm finally bored of huswifery enough to write something.

The last six months have been spent renovating my old and unfortunately quirky house. Allow me to briefly explain the extent of my woes.

My husband has owned this house for many years, but renters have been living in it and paying off the mortgage. Not the nightmarish type of renters either, a minister and his family, very nice people with horrible taste.

They took very good care of the house, despite their use of floral wallpaper and aquamarine paint. Yes. Aquamarine. Stepping into this house for the first time was like stepping into my grandmother's house underneath the Gulf of Mexico. Every single room was painted this violent shade of blue, except for the child's room, which was a much darker blue and has glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling, which are actually kind of cool.

Ugly paint is easily dealt with, except for the fact that they painted over the baseboards and the rest of the trim with the same color. It's true. I had to re-paint all the trim a nice, normal white. This however, turned out to be the least of our worries.

The kitchen, which is not large, sported those fake wood veneers all over the cabinets. You know, the kind from the sixties that's not fooling anyone. The cabinets had to be painted too. We also put on new door handles because the others were ostentatious and ugly.

Speaking of the sixties, a majority of the house was floored in this 40-year-old vinyl tile that was crumbling beneath our feet. Plus, it was likely asbestos-ridden considering its vintage. We laid a nice, neutral, ceramic tile over the top. Buh-bye lung disease. Well, at least from foreign industrial fibers.

Similarly, we ripped up the brown shag carpet in the living room, which frighteningly resembled the hide of a very tatty bear. Underneath lay an almost pristine hardwood floor: the first and only pleasant surprise during the entire process.

I almost forgot the best part. The bathroom, more specifically, the bathtub, toilet, and sink which were all, drumroll please, a hideous shade of pink. Yes, it did look like Barbie's nightmare bathroom suite. Hence the reason I spent two days painting the bathtub with a truly offensive-smelling and likely toxic epoxy to make it white. We ended up completely replacing the toilet and sink, though.

We finally moved in at the end of October, but this was not the end of our worries. As soon as it got cold, which means November in southern Ontario, the furnace and air conditioner decided to have a race. What, you may ask, do you mean?

Well, it seems that although we had turned the heat on and the airconditioning off, the heat pump system got a little confused and started pulling cold air from outside into our house. So, the heat would come on, the thermostat would sense it was too warm in the house, and the fan, meaning the airconditioner, would click on to cool it down. Needless to say, we were using more natural gas than the rest of our neighborhood combined. We had to to have some heating-and-air guy come over and completely disable the airconditioning.

So, it's been a super-fun winter! At least our yard is enormous with lots of trees, even if it is mostly uphill. The neighbor kid charges us fifty bucks to mow the flipping thing. When are they going to develop a lawnmower that works like that Roomba vacuum?