everything old is new again

You know, everything was fine. I was more or less resigned to the fact that I would never get to live in the UK because I couldn’t get my visa situation sorted out (and that whole “Ed likes to crush my dreams” thing, but we try not to think about that). I was perfectly happy to sit here in my outraged misery, trying to be content with visiting London as often as I could instead of moving there – even temporarily – to bask in the rolling green fields and eggs that don’t go in the fridge. I endured. I acquiesced. I mourned my dreams in – well, not silence, but with heaving sighs and an aching longing that could not be quenched. Basically, I Scarlet O’Hara’d all up in this bitch.

Then, today. I was writing a post on reddit to complain about my ancestral paperwork woes and researched the requirements again to make sure my post was accurate. It was then I discovered that the Ancestry Visa Requirements for the UK had changed slightly:

Ancestry Documents

You’ll also need to provide:

  • your full birth certificate
  • your marriage certificate or civil partnership registration document if your husband, wife or civil partner wants to join you
  • the full birth certificates of the parent and grandparent your ancestry claim is based on
  • marriage certificates for your parents and grandparents if they were married

Those bolded and underlined words? Those were not there before. And they completely remove the blockage I had with my application. I’ve never been able to locate my grandfather’s birth certificate, and cannot prove he and my grandmother were actually married. It always pissed me off, because he wasn’t the relative I was claiming ancestry through – yes, my great-grandfather moved his family from Ireland to Canada, but the Ancesty Visa only goes back two generations so it was a moot point. I HAVE my grandmother’s and father’s birth certificate, and a valid reason why I don’t have a marriage certificate for my grandparents. With those 6 words, my path to an Ancestry Visa is suddenly clear. I could apply for this. I have, or can get, everything I need to make it go, up to and including the painful £516 application fee.

But .. getting that visa is not going to change the fact that I have a life here. We’re not even a year into our new place. Our cats are here. Ed does not want to move, even temporarily. I desperately want this – like, bucket list item that ranks even higher than that multi-dick scenario I keep talking about – but getting that coveted, I-assume-stamped bit of paper would do nothing towards making my dream actually happen.

The temptation to do it just because I CAN is strong, but I think it would just make me even sadder to think about. I’ve done ridiculous things out of bureaucratic spite before, but $1000 is a lot of money to pay for something that would make me cry and mope endlessly.

But damn if I’m not super tempted.

btw, going to spain. this’ll be me in 4 days.

an inconvenient floof

Lemon has never been the most affectionate of cats. It took almost 7 years before we got purrs out of him, and to this day they can only be heard if you press your ear up against his belly. He’s also a grumpy pain in the ass who hates almost everything, but does – albeit somewhat reluctantly – at least tolerate us.

Most of the year, Lemon finds somewhere comfortable in the house to sleep and everything is fine. In the winter, however, he apparently cannot sleep without being in total contact with me at all times – and he is the worst person I’ve ever shared a bed with. Basically, it looks like this:

Lemon insists on sleeping on my legs. He is a great big fat potato – I actually can’t move him when he’s in brick mode – and he radiates the heat of a thousand suns. I spend every night either squished up in a ball in the 1/4 of the bed alloted to me while Lemon takes over the entire bottom of the bed, or fighting him for leg room. On the rare occasion I fall asleep untethered, he’ll come to bed and take up his usual spot which means I wake up completely dehydrated, drenched with sweat, with cramped legs because they’ve been held in one position all night, and with an aching back because I couldn’t roll over.

These days, I’m getting three to four hours of sleep a night, and they’re not exactly comfortable. As a result, my brains are foggy, I can’t get my day started, I obviously feel like crap, and I am very grumpy towards the huge pile of bricks that refuses to sleep anywhere else on the bed. Look how much room there is! Dilly is in the corner, sleeping by Ed’s feet away from him. Hobbz isn’t even shown, because he is a pretty princess who sleeps on the armchair next to the bed. Lemon’s love and weight is reserved for me alone, and while on some level I appreciate whatever affection he throws my way, I am fucking exhausted. And sore. Is it summer yet?

My mother is coming to visit Halfwack today for the first time. Ed is frantically vacuuming the stairs, I’ve hidden most of the gay porn, and I have no idea what to do with her for the next three days. Wish me luck.

I am so tired.

“New series, coming soon: Coroner! They investigate the dead and solve their crimes!”

.. that’s not how it works. It’s not how CSI works, or Bones, or Criminal Minds, or any other of the hundreds upon hundreds of procedural TV shows in which the protagonists do every step of investigation, up to and including the persecution (and sometimes beyond! Why are you undercover in Rikers, forensic podiatrist? Get back to feet!). Don’t get me wrong – I love good crime TV as much as anyone else, but I often wonder how many people went into forensic science because they wanted to catch bad guys by looking at blood splatter or saying “enhance” at your computer to figure out license plate details from a 3 pixel traffic camera photo taken with the best technology 1994 had to offer.

I started to wonder if, as a technical writer, I could also start solving crime. The writer angle has been done of course, but they weren’t technical writers. Why couldn’t I work in a coroner’s office, documenting procedure or writing up instructions, but also have a knack for finding clues overlooked by actual professionals? It could happen. It doesn’t have to be my specific profession, either – a traveling salesperson peddles knives – and crackpot motives! A plumber, always in the right place – at the wrong time! Social Media Rockstar tweets as the voice of your brand – and of the newly deceased! Oh, yes. All of these are excellent ideas.

crimes were did

.. by me. what a twist!

I’m gonna start asking my boss for crimes to solve. Crimes other than the criminal lack of punctuation and grammar in my work, that is.

it was the blurst of times

In just over 12 hours, we will officially stick a fork in 2018 and call it done. This is a good thing. This has been one of the most difficult years in recent history, and I am more than ready to wipe the slate clean and enter 2019 full of hope and Diet Coke and big dick energy.

That’s not to say 2018 was all bad, though. There were a lot of really neat things up in here, like:

  • Finally moving into our new home
  • Visiting Hong Kong just because
  • Not one but two trips to New York, again just because
  • London/Lille/Brussels
  • We really love our new home

It is amusing to me that my two recurring themes are at war with one another: travel and being at home.

Anyway. We had a lot of fun with friends and family, most of our cats are mostly healthy, and we are both gainfully employed. Really, what more could we ask for?

I could use a win or two in the health column, if I’m being truthful. For some weird reason, being stressed out for 10 straight months is somewhat detrimental to good health. While the stress has been temporarily resolved, I’m still dealing with the fallout in terms of anxiety, sleeplessness, and existential dread. And did I mention the temporary resolution? The whole thing will start all over again in a few months, and I already want to cry. But! Tonight is New Year’s Eve. The tears can wait. I have friends to party with, an outfit that requires multiple battery packs, and 4 litres of Diet Coke. Frankly, I have everything I need.

Regardless of how your 2018 played out, I hope tonight is everything you need and you enter 2019 full of wonder at the unspoiled potential stretched out ahead of you. Be safe, don’t forget to hydrate, and do you as only you can.

2018top9

a step forward

Still trying to stay positive. Last couple of days were really rough, but I’m still here so I guess that’s a win.

Today I donated money to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank in the name of my endless angst. I am grateful that I still have the means to do that, as I enjoy being able to help people without having to actually talk to them.

Want to know something funny? The entire reason I am so freaked out about not being able to find a job is that once, 16 years ago, I couldn’t find a job after a round of layoffs. It took 9 months for me to find any kind of work whatsoever, and it was a soul-crushingly horrible job that I still have nightmares about. I’m terrified of that happening again, even though I have no real reason to be.

No, YOU’RE irrational.