Thursday, August 04, 2011

Arrived Alive in Salt Lake City!

Okay, I'm finally back from my epic journey across America and beyond. I didn't have internet or interest in blogging but I had so many blog worthy moments that I kind of regret it.

In short, we crossed the border on June 30th where I managed to get my TN work visa. Yay! That means I'm legal to work now at my new job here in Salt Lake City. Yay!?

We then drove West to Chicago, then down across route 66 until we headed north into Utah and up to Salt Lake City. The whole road trip took us about 10 days with tourist stops in Santa Fe, New Mexico, at the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona, and Bryce Canyon in Southern Utah.

We arrived in Salt Lake at our rented apartment with no furniture as our truck was delayed, so we spent our very limited time having a drink at Steve's colleague's house, dealing with our REI wedding registry, and buying new bathing suits for our honeymoon.

We went on our honeymoon and spent two super fun weeks checking out three different islands. We got back to Salt Lake on Friday the 29th and since then have been busy unpacking, setting up our new lives, and exploring our new city.

This is a very brief overview of the news, but I figured I'll make new posts with actual content and some of the stories of the move.

For example, yesterday we went to the driver's license office to get Utah drivers' licenses. Why bother? We need them in order to get car insurance, not to mention that having state ID seems to be key to doing or registering for things around these parts. We had left our little piece of paper with the address at home but could remember it was at 1000 West 200 North. We drove there and looked around for an office. Mostly there were dilapidated old buildings, but there was also a big fair ground. It took asking a lady waiting at a bus stop to learn that the drivers' license office is located inside the fair grounds. Obviously?!

We spent over two hours in that office waiting, waiting, waiting, and then SURPRISE, writing an (open book) driving test. Great. I was pretty nervous and it was difficult to find some of the answers in the book. It's been quite a while since I've had to take any sort of driving test. Luckily we both passed. Then we had to register for our road test. ROAD TEST!!!! I hope I don't fail.

It's been nearly impossible getting internet and cell phones because our Canadian credit is insufficient for the credit checks that all these companies do. We had to get my American aunt to order our cell phones on our behalf, which was another headache. We can't get credit cards either, but then how are we supposed to build up credit?

I guess we'll chalk it all up to the exciting adventure of moving to a new country right? I'm just glad we can speak the language, we have enough money to do the things we need to do, and we've got enough American family and friends that I'm sure everything will work out just fine. In the meantime, cell phones come today!

Aside from the headaches, we've also been experiencing our new city's arts, culture and food. We've eaten at a few good restaurants, many of which are right around the corner from our downtown apartment. We checked out the Pioneer Park Saturday farmer's market and bought fresh tomatoes, goat cheese and beats for a super fresh and delicious salad which we ate on the rooftop of our 28 story building. We went for a walk at the City Creek Canyon and laughed aloud at the reality of the beauty in such close proximity. This is something we do whenever we catch sight of the Wasatch mountains looming over Walmart or Best Buy. It's a pretty hilarious juxtaposition that makes this kind of shopping experience feel somehow bearable. We took in K.D. Lang from the hilltop beside the outdoor stage. And tonight we're heading back to Pioneer Park for another free outdoor concert.

So, at the moment I can't really complain. Though there have been some tricky issues to deal with, they're kind of funny once they're behind us - can't wait till my road test is behind me - and the fun stuff has made it worth it.

Be back soon!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Moving to the U.S.A!

Well, hello blog world!

It's been a loooong time since I've been an active blogger, but I'm sensing the pull to return. Things are happening, and they can't go undocumented!

It's been one full week since Steve and I tied the knot. Our wedding was so beautiful and perfect; I still can't get over it. Here, check this out.

Not bad, eh?

Instead of having post-wedding blues because we have a void in our lives where wedding planning and anticipation once laid, we've been focusing our energy on the next big thing. We're moving. To Utah!

That's right. This Thursday we're jumping in the car and heading on a 9 day route-66 road trip with Salt Lake City as our final destination. It's a pretty big deal to be leaving our family and friends here in Toronto, but we're quite excited for the adventure ahead.

I hope I can get back into the blogging habit, so I can document this exciting time in our lives. I'll fill you in on some other details over the next few days before we head out. Wish us luck!

Friday, May 09, 2008

New blog wow!!

I haven't been writing in this blog so I figured hey, why not start a new blog.

I miss you, old blog.

New blog:

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Setting the scene

It was winter 2002. Scratch that. It was the beginning of spring 2002. And I was at Talisman Resort with Matt who was competing in a series of ski competitions. This was the last one which involved I THINK the half pipe but who can really be sure.

I was skiing down a smooth and creamy run when suddenly my right ski caught something, pulling my leg out and back. I crumpled. I heard a pop but didn't know what that meant. Fuck. A snowboarder cruising by stopped and asked me if I was okay. "I don't think so," I said shakily. Unsure of what to do, I sat for a moment riding out the pain, then carefully stood up. I could see Matt at the bottom of the hill walking as quickly as he could in those cumbersome ski boots up to meet me. Together I hobbled to the bottom of the pipe, my knee slipping left and right on the way, where I sat for the rest of the afternoon.

I forget whether he came first or second in the series.

Returning home, I endured a hospital visit, months of limping and discomfort, a few doctors visits and finally an MRI, with diagnoses ranging from nothing serious to fully torn Anterior Cruiate Ligament to partially torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament. The latter is what seemed to stick, and for the last six years I've been pretty much unawares of my knee or any injury I had sustained.

This spring I stared playing ultimate frisbee. I love it! It's great. In June I sprained my ankle. I hate it. It's bad. I now wear a brace. Two weeks ago my knee went one way when I went another and I suddenly remembered my ACL injury of yesteryear.

It hurt far less and the limping ceased after only days, but clearly somethig is askew.

A trip to the sport's medicine doctor today has left me with a likely fully torn ACL diagnosis and an MRI appointment. Plus physio for which I have no coverage. Plus my having to back out of two ultimate league teams I was due to start up next week.

It also leaves me something to blog about. Finally.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Observation exercise

She sat beside me on a bench, the traffic of University Ave. buzzing by on either side of the outer flowerbeds. Maybe she made a call on her cell phone - I was deeply engaged in my book and didn't notice her really until she stood up from the bench and spread a picnic blanket on the small strip of grass directly in front of me.

The ever so familiar Dominion plastic bag in hand, she kicked off her cheap flip flops and sat down cross-legged, smoothing out the puffs of air resting beneath the blanket.

Looking self-conscious but not minding my direct view, she began unpacking the grocery bag. First, twin fruit, yogurt, and granola containers - the pre-made kind you buy from the pre-made salad shelf. The shelf I frequented almost daily during my time at The Department this past year. Those must have set her back a whopping $3.99 each. She laid them on the blanket side by side, out of the way. Next she pulled out two Mandarin Chicken Salads. Yes, I know these things by name. And because a picnic isn't a picnic without it, she also had a container of grocery store sushi rolls. California, I bet, but can't confirm. She emptied the bag, with two fancy bottled smoothies, one pink and one yellow. I could literally trace her steps through the store.

The store, which sits on Bloor and is teeming with students buying pre-made salads and frozen pizzas.

But we're on Hospital Row, which is instead teeming with healthcare workers and suits. And researchers trying to get away with fancy pants and sneakers, but I digress.

My lunch is more or less over, but I want to stay to see who her lunch guest will be. I'm almost certain it's a boy - like she'd go to so much effort for anyone else, but then again it's all store bought and demonstrates very little creativity. Plus, despite the healthy eating hoorah happening these days, I don't know how happy many men would be about lettuce, rice, and granola. I'm also willing to bet she doesn't know him all that well. She chooses two of the same of everything, except for the smoothies where she guesses with two popular colours/flavours - she can't go wrong, but clearly she doesn't know that his favourite drink is Blue Powerade and he much prefers Greek to Mandarin, for example.

She's wearing the typical student uniform; the flip flops I've already mentioned, along with too-tight jeans that emphasize her slight stomach rolls showing from beneath her simple tank top. I forget to notice her face or hair. She's not memorable.

I go back to my book. She waits. I glance up. She's putting a thick, hard-cover book without its jacket away into her satchel, looking up into the distance. She stands, smiles, and meets him. They hug for longer than a greeting between friends, but it definitely doesn't feel like a comfortable, long-time couple. I like being right. They don't kiss, but sit down on the blanket together. I try not to stare so I don't notice his reaction to the things she's laid out. Does he look impressed? Does he even look?

They sit for a moment before she suddenly pulls him by the arm towards her and they share a quick peck. She deserves that much after all this effort, damn it. I'd be willing to bet this is something like date number 3, and the transition from goodnight-in-the-dark kissing to out-in-the-open-guess-what-I-like-you kissing takes some guts.

His legs bend out awkwardly, his dress-shoes just off the blanket on the grass, until he abandoms them and sits cross-legged. He looks sharp in his dress-shirt and dress-pants and dress-frames. He's cute. Good for her. Good for them.

Lunch is over and my curiosity is satisfied. I leave these two to their granola on the grass.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

That feeling

You know that feeling when you just wake up from sleeping so soundly and for just a moment all is well until a wave of the memory of all the shit on your mind hits you like a brick?

Oh yeah, I'm heartbroken.

Oh right, I'm stressed.

Oh shit, I'm nervous.

Things like that.

I don't like that feeling.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Hey, MSG

Come on, you can't stay mad at me.