Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Today I got home from work and look what is giving out candy at our door. Emilio really gets into this holiday. In our area we get so many kids on Halloween because we have sidewalks and many of the surrounding towns do not. We bought 250 pieces this year. It's now 7:20 and we are almost out already!

Last Saturday John and Dennis came over for a pumpkin carving competition and plenty of beer and wine. As you can see Dennis didn't put much effort into his orally fixated jack o latern

I won....guess which one is mine?

Monday, October 29, 2007

The final two made it!

Congratulation to WEB and DRF at We move to Vancouver who finally made it. We are very happy for you two!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

This weekend was a triple

1) My Wonder Wagon hit 100,000 miles- I've been moderately obsessed over waiting for the odometer to reach this milestone. Not bad for a 24 year old car.

2) White Castle opened in a nearby town- Emilio and I love White Castle Hamburgers and we couldn't get them up here. It's been 3 years since we had them and we really enjoyed them for lunch today.

3) After all this time worrying and waiting we got two offers on the house in the same day. Connie and Wendy the best Realtors in the world are on their way over to discuss them with us. In my best Ehtel Merman "Everythings coming up roses"!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Just Another Week

This week we had some good news. I had been putting off getting something medically checked out until after we got our permanent residency. I know it's stupid to not have things looked at right away, but I just couldn't add any more to our plate. Now that Canada is done I went to the Doctor on Tuesday. So this week I had 2 ultrasounds, blood and urine tests and I it turns out I am ok. I just have a cluster of veins that we thought might have been something else. Yoo Hoo!

It was interesting to me this week was also the big S-CHIP battle in the US. S-CHIP is a health care program by the federal goverment for kids in lower income homes who don't have healthcare or whose families could not obtain it from private companies because of their pre-existing conditions. The right wing in this country is fighting against healthcare for kids while wanting to force births through womb control. I am sickened that a 12 year old and 2 year old child whose families spoke out about how S-CHIP saved their lives are being attacked by Republicans.
The right wing Christian false values make it even more harder to bear as they have their hate fest called a Values Summit in DC this weekend while their president sharpens his veto pen on S-CHIP. They are vile and disgusting human beings, I try to understand them but they never cease to repulse me.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Back in the USSR, oops I mean USA

Friday we had a nice time having dinner and going out for drinks with Nick and his friends. It was interesting because not a single guy in the group was from Toronto originally. We enjoyed the conversation on a myriad of topics and Nick was his usual adorable gracious self, while poor Mason was in bed sick.

Saturday morning we went with Dennis and Patrice to Kensington Market for Chilean Empanadas (yum). In the afternoon we stopped by to meet their friends Otto and Wally, another binational couple and very warm and welcoming.

We were very anxious about the border crossing and decided to leave yesterday evening after dinner with D & P at The Keg Mansion (Phenomenal Steaks!). One of the things we really love about Toronto is the choices in food. We hugged these two men who have done so much for us that words cannot express our gratitude.

We decided to bring the blog down before re-entry. We just felt secure in locking out any information about us on the net. As we approached the border crossing guard we realized we were dealing with a blonde bitch with braces who had the sadistic warmth of Stan's sister Shelley.

She started out with an eye roll to our "hello, how are you" and simply stated in a authoratative monotone"citizenship", as if she's just being a glorified toll booth collector until Hollywood calls. We told her "US and Venezuela" and we handed lil Satan our passports. She looked at Emilio's and yelled with spittle flying from her grill, "You need to ask permission before leaving the US!" Then gets on her radio as if we had Osama Bin Ladin in our luggage all huffing and puffing and finally she roars, "Park over there and go inside!".

Luckily inside Emilio had the one nice border patrol agent in the US. Emilio was finger printed and photographed and the guy told "Shelley" she was wrong that an asylee can leave the US and come back without permission. She never apologized or even looked us in the eye after her weird tirade. I so badly wanted to say something to her.

Did anyone else notice the lighting in the US border agency makes the people there look like Zombies from"Night of the Living Dead"?

We drove home, hugged our kitty and back to life in NJ until the house sells. We pick up our Katie from the kennel later today, I can't wait I am having dog withdrawal.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Canada The Great

Yesterday we went to get our SIN (Social Insurance Number) which is the same as a US Social Security number. We walked to the St Clair Street office from where we are staying a Yonge and Bloor. It was a long walk but we enjoyed it because we were able to go through Rosedale which is a lovely part of the city. We were amazed how cheerful the government officed was decorated and the people were very kind. I think the whole thing took about 15 minutes. We then went to open a bank account which could not have been a more pleasant experience. Adam ,the guy helping us was very nice and jovial. We were shocked you didn't even have to deposit any money to open the account. We're going to wire transfer some on Monday. So we're done with our tasks.

We have decided to try and get out of our condo deal. Our home has not sold and the issues with my work transfer possibly not going through just made sense to us that we couldn't pull it off, plus it didn't help we feel lied to by the sellers that the unit and it's very undesirable location in the building itself were not disclosed to us. I certainly wouldn't spend the kind of money they asked for a view of a brick wall, heating vent and parking garage entrance when they told us it would be a beautiful courtyard garden scene outside our windows.

Last night we went over to Jose Manuel and Arturo's home they are friends of Dennis and Patrice-Gerrard. We really enjoyed being with them, plus it was a room full of Venezuelans which is never a bad thing. :)

Tonight we get to see Nick (maybe Mason if he feels better). We are going out to dinner at Zelda's and out for drinks at O'Grady's in the village and we get to meet some of their friends.

The people here are what makes Toronto great. An example of this was when we went to buy some wine and the salesman Christopher asked us where we were from and he gently asked why we moving. We ended up have a discussion and he was so helpul and friendly giving us tips about the city. That's what we keep finding here, lovely interesting people who enjoy helping others.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Eagle Has Landed

Yesterday Emilio and I became permanent residents of Canada. It was a strange day. When we started out I was feeling dark and dreadful. My bear isn't a morning person and I had trouble getting him up and I was in a frenzy making sure the house looked perfect in case any potential buyers would come while we are gone. As we drove off at 6:30 am I was feeling pretty bad, then as the sun rose so did my spirits and I enjoyed the next 7 hours sitting next to my favorite person in the world, we sang, we laughed, we talked and we worried some. As we approached the bridge to the border for some reason I just felt everything would be ok. I even said so to Emilio. Within minutes we had an unremarkable landing and all went well. Emilio had saved our fortune cookies from our meal the night before and he gave me mine, I opened it up and it said "After darkness there is always sunlight" how cool and appropriate.

We are staying at our friend Dennis' apartment in the Manulife building, while he stays with his boyfriend nearby. We went with the guys to an Italian restaurant on Church street and Emi and I were in bed exhausted by 9pm. Our other friend Dennis is checking on Buster while we are gone. We're so blessed to have great friends.

I am so sorry to read Nick is sick, we'll be giving him a call later today. I hope he feels better soon we want to see him and Mason.

A hug to everyone reading this! We finally made it after 20 months of waiting and Emilio is now officially safe from US tyranny!

Friday, October 05, 2007

We got the passports back today

Finally they came back after two weeks waiting. We have decided to travel to Toronto next Wednesday to do the landing and set up the bank accounts, apply for the SIN cards and whatever else people do at this point in the process. Nick, Mason and Gito have been incredibly helpful, in fact Nick called me recently. We look forward to seeing them again. Maybe we can convince Gito and Juan to take a trip up to TO at the same time. We owe them big hugs.

So moving forward one step at time. Still no offers on the casa. We're still hopeful someone will buy it at yet another open house this weekend.

I have to read all the documents sent to us by the consulate. It's so exciting, yet nerve wracking. I've been on a roller coaster of emotion lately driving Em nuts. He's steady and mellow as usual.

Recently while Emilio was working in the garage a woman and her daughters stopped by to say hi to Emilio. We had heard about them from mutual friends. They are a lesbian couple with two beautiful daughters and Emilio had a brief discussion about our move to Canada.

On Monday we had a note on the door asking if we could come to their home and speak about moving to Canada. Emilio and I spent two hours Wednesday talking about the process, the multiculturalism (important to them because the girls are Vietnamese), healthcare, jobs, housing and just about everything we knew about Canada. They seem very interested in moving after our discussion. They want to raise their kids in a better environment than the US and I don't blame them one bit. So we may just be adding another family to our group.