Another Decade Down

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As of this past Wednesday, I’ve left my 20s behind to start the 10-year trek into my 30s. It’s that strange feeling I had when I turned 20 where I both feel and don’t feel older. However, I’m still relieved I was able to immigrate to the US before hitting this milestone. It’s a goal I’ve had in mind over the past few years and managing to accomplish it was a great feeling.

Going forward is going to be very strange, though. Now that I’m establishing myself in the US, it’s bizarre and exciting to think about the next 10 years of my life being here rather than in Canada. It still feels surreal that I’m here at all, let alone married to the man I met all those years ago. My immediate goals this year will be to hopefully soon receive my remaining green card documents and land a job before next January. I’m also excited for a convention trip we’ve planned in July, and while it might not happen this year, I’d like to try to go back to Canada for a visit as well.

Beyond this year, my next few goals will revolve around working towards getting citizenship and eventually a vehicle of my own to drive (not before most likely having to redo a driving test, though). But until all that happens, I’m just going to try to enjoy this decade I’ve moved into. Hopefully my 30s will turn out to be even better!

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Letting Go

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Yes, I’m extremely late on blogging again, but at the beginning of this new year I came to a realization: I want to start letting go of certain things I check/do online. This blog, despite what you might be thinking, isn’t one of them. However, I do think it’s going to become less weekly as it used to be. The truth is that the combination of laziness and knowing I’ll inevitably end up with a job in the near future has made me feel less inclined to make an effort here. There are plenty of things I could talk about, but mustering up the enthusiasm to do so hasn’t been easy. I don’t want to just give up on my blog as this marks the fifth year of it, but I have to at least acknowledge that I’m not as passionate about it as I used to be.

In light of that, I’m fully letting go of the wiki(a) I created for the website Channel Awesome (formerly ThatGuyWithTheGlasses). After this year, which marks the tenth year of both the site and wiki, I’ve decided I’m done maintaining it. My main reasons I gave were that I’ll eventually lose a lot of free time I currently have to a job and that I’m just tired of taking time out of each day to update it. However, this wasn’t the full truth. The other reason is that I feel like I’ve grown out of the CA fandom as a whole. I still like certain video producers who have stuck around, but they can be found off the site just as easily now. Frankly, I only visit the site to do the updates for the wiki and that’s literally it. I feel disconnected from their community (outside of the friends I’ve made already) and the less said about the drama/politics that crop up there, the better. As I’ve done with former producers, I still plan to follow the ones I do whether they remain on the site or not. I just won’t be visiting it myself anymore after the end of this year.

There have been others things I’ve let go. I’ve cut back on my YouTube channels to the shows/let’s players I watch frequently, narrowed down my Tumblr to a smaller number of blogs, and quit reading articles from some websites that did nothing but suck me into their drama (*cough*TheFrisky*cough*). I feel better overall making these changes in my life, especially if it means spending real time with my husband and our friends/family. So, rather than make possibly empty promises about this blog, I’ll just say to keep your eyes peeled. They may not come as often, but posts will still pop up from time to time.

Bring On 2018!

It’s the final hours of 2017 here in Florida, and I honestly couldn’t be happier. While this year was a triumph for me personally and overall felt mostly better than 2016, I just feel a sense of relief going into 2018. Maybe it’s that I’m feeling at my happiest or that I’m just excited to continue things next year (such as my residency and hopefully a long overdue wedding party back home). Regardless, like every year, I’m hopeful 2018 will have mainly good things ahead.

This year I accomplished my biggest goal: getting married to my wonderful husband, Richard. Sure, the process to get my visa so I could legally do so was also accomplished in a timely fashion, but after nearly 4 years of being engaged and more years of being together beyond that, we were just happy to officially tie the knot. And, at long last, my parents got to see their eldest child “walk down the aisle”, so to speak (courthouses obviously don’t have one).

I also saw so many enjoyable movies and returning TV shows this year. Everything ranging from “The Crown” to “Thor: Ragnarok” to “Coco” and “The Punisher” (to name VERY few) made me laugh and cry. I finally got to try the Nintendo Switch and adventured through all of Hyrule in “Breath of the Wild” as well as been addicted collecting moons in “Super Mario Odyssey.” I’ve even gotten back into reading books with “The Daily Show (The Book)” and comics with “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl” (a new fave superhero of mine), plus delved into childhood nostalgia with the “Little Gloomy” comic strips.

I’ve gotten to spend far more quality time with my Florida friends as well as gotten to know mutual acquaintances much better. I’ve continued to spend quality family time with both sides of Richard’s family and have now been here longer than I’ve ever been in all these years. I’m happy to have spent 2017 mainly with my own family and friends back home, but I’ve already managed to also carve out a spot for myself in this new environment.

So, here’s to 2018 and all its possible ups and downs. Leaving 2017 behind is a little bittersweet, but it was the journey getting to this point in my life that made it worth its own ups and downs. See you all next year!

Laziness Strikes Again

Yes, there’s really no title more apt than that. The past two weeks have been eventful, but I’ve just been too lazy to muster up the inspiration to blog. So, allow me to cover a few things that happened in that time.

One of my best friends here in Florida had open chest surgery that successfully removed a benign growth near her lungs. It was easily the most stressful thing I had to deal with, but I had no doubt she would pull through. Even better, she’s already able to get around rather easily despite being out of work for a few more weeks and being unable to drive in the meantime as well. Oh, and before the surgery, we were able to celebrate her boyfriend’s 30th birthday and generally spend the day together. We’ve since seen her and no doubt will continue to throughout the month. I’ll especially be looking forward to getting together with her and the rest of our friends for their yearly Secret Santa in a few more weeks.

I also saw the movie “Wonder” with my husband and mom-in-law. While I’m usually not interested in feel-good, schmaltzy films, this one tugged on my heartstrings and had easily my favorite performance from Owen Wilson ever (I normally can’t stand him). Julia Roberts was fantastic as usual, and I like how they managed to get good child actors to round out the cast. The story’s far from perfect and was riddled with cliches, but all in all it was a nice little flick to watch on a Sunday afternoon.

As a personal victory to myself, I finally beat “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” Since the new DLC is finally out, I’ll definitely be returning to it at some point to check that out. However, in the meantime, I’ve been working on continuing my playthroughs of “Super Mario Odyssey” and “Metroid: Samus Returns.” Also, as an early Christmas present from my husband, I’ve started playing “Pokemon Ultra Sun” as well. It’s a lot on my plate and I still have many other games on the back burner, but I’m just happy to have plenty of fun stuff to keep me occupied.

Finally, things have moved forward in my green card process. I received a letter from the USCIS that they have my application, and then eventually got another with a biometrics (fingerprinting) appointment scheduled for next week. Things are progressing really well, and I’m hopeful I’ll have a few things like my social security number and employment/travel permits soon enough. There’s still a bit of work to do yet, but I’m relieved we’ve reached this point before the year is over.

So, those are a few of the things that took place over this blog. I’ll try to keep the updates flowing again soon, but don’t be surprised if Christmas soon gets in the way. Until next time!

 

An October Honeymoon

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Apologies for not blogging last week and waiting so long this week, but I’ve been a combination of both busy and lazy lately. This week centered around a few things, most notably Thanksgiving (though I also saw “Coco” and highly recommend it). Meanwhile, last week marked my green card paperwork being sent off to officially begin my trek to becoming a permanent resident. I’m looking forward to it!

There are many things I could talk about that took place these last two weeks, but instead I’d like to share something I’d worked on over this month. During October, my husband and I celebrated our honeymoon for a few days in the balmy state of California. To commemorate the occasion, we filmed much of it and made a special series of vlogs dedicated to both it and our internet show, “The Spook Factor.”  So, without further ado, here are the vlogs documenting most of our trip. Enjoy!

Vlog #1

Vlog #1.5

Vlog #2

Vlog #3

Marriage Updates and More!

So, due to last week being busier than I anticipated, I didn’t make a blog post. Needless to say, the internet service at my fiance’s house was spotty after Hurricane Irma. Luckily, we didn’t suffer any major damage and no injuries, so I survived my first hurricane pretty easily.

I also wanted to take time to blog now because the rest of this week is going to be even more hectic. Tomorrow, September 22nd, I’ll be getting married! We’re going to a courthouse for a brief ceremony surrounded by friends and family (I was never one to have a big “dream” wedding), and then heading off to a nice restaurant to say our vows and enjoy a tasty dinner. Hopefully we’ll all have room for some wedding cake afterwards, and then we’ll be going off by ourselves to stay overnight at a hotel for some alone time. We then plan to spend Saturday celebrating our post-wedding with our circle of friends since a couple of them are unable to come tomorrow, and Sunday will continue our trend of taking my parents out somewhere cool for their vacation.

I’ll probably write a more detailed blog about these events next week, and as far as my green card goes, we’ve gotten a consultation appointment set up on October 4th. However, I’d like to mention that from here on out, I can’t guarantee I’ll have a blog up every week like I’ve usually tried to do. I’m thinking of doing my usual horror-themed string of blogs for October, though, so we’ll see if I can pull that off. I just read Stephen King’s “Gerald’s Game” and am thinking about seeing the Netflix movie, plus my fiance and I saw the “It” remake yesterday, so maybe I’ll make some of my entries about his work. We’ll see when the time comes, as we’ll be taking our honeymoon to California midway through the month as well.

I’m just so happy to finally be at this point in both our relationship and the visa process. This is basically the endgame to what we started back in November last year, and I’m relieved we had a smooth ride getting to it (hurricane notwithstanding). Until next week!

Welcome to Miami!

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After making it through immigration and a long, long layover at the Toronto Pearson Airport last Saturday, I’ve been relaxing and enjoying my time with my fiance in Miami. It hasn’t been without its downsides, however, as we’ve been bracing ourselves to either hunker down or evacuate in the wake of Hurricane Irma. We’ve both had to get used to knowing that I won’t be leaving after a short period of time, but we’re more than happy about that. My parents are also doing well in spite of missing me, and I know it’ll be hard on all of us once they leave after their 10-day vacation starting at the end of next week.

As far as Saturday, immigration went pretty smoothly in Toronto with me only spending less than an hour between it and customs. On my Miami flight, we did run into a moment of scariness when we attempted to land. Because of an error made by the air traffic controller, we came close to running into another plane who was also trying to land. Thankfully, our captain slammed on the pedal (I don’t know plane terminology that well) and got us out of there to loop around and try landing again. After the day I’d had, I was just eager to be on the ground and was even happier when I saw my fiance and future mother-in-law waiting for me. I didn’t even run into any issues with the two large suitcases I’d brought, so the rest of the night was a breeze.

Yesterday, we finally went to a courthouse in Coral Gables to obtain our marriage license. Even though we won’t be using it for a couple weeks yet, I’m glad we got around to it this quickly (partly because of the storm). I’m still eager to jump into my green card process as soon as possible, and we’ve got a fun Californian honeymoon planned in mid-October as well. And while our wedding won’t be all that big or fancy or traditional, we’re just relieved to have made it to this point. Neither of us have wanted a ginormous ceremony anyway, so a private, civil ceremony is perfect for us.

Of course, before we can make further plans, we have to deal with this hurricane. So, depending on circumstances (loss of power and such), I may not have a blog up until later next week. For now, we’ve got the house prepared in case we stay, and we have a solid idea about what to take if we head north. I’m not as nervous as I thought I’d be, but hopefully we’ll get through it unscathed regardless. Until next time!