Happy Not-So-New Year

Have you noticed winter kicks my ass much? As soon as the temperature drops, my brain seems to freeze along with the pipes, and it becomes a struggle just to roll my unmotivated and generally winter-blah’d self off the futon first thing in the morning. It’s dark when I get up, it’s dark when I get off work; it’s cold, slushy, and all around miserable. Fuck winter, man. Fuck it.

The only good thing about winter so far was that I flew south to spend Christmas with Josh. Unfortunately, that merriment ended as soon as my return flight touched down in Buffalo – in the middle of a blizzard. But wait, it gets better.

One delayed hour on the frozen tarmac later, I shoved my way past throngs of snowbirding elderly (who should NOT be allowed to travel with ‘carry-ons’ they can’t lift out of the overhead compartments without assistance), ELEVEN people blocking the aisles waiting for wheelchairs, three screaming toddlers and a fat guy with a cat. My luggage took even longer. I was also starving, having only brought ten dollars for travel-food without realizing that a 9am airport breakfast of yogurt and O.J. would cost eight bucks (you’d think I’d have this figured out by now, it being my third trip), or that all the delays would bring me well past 4pm before I could get to a bank machine. Said bank machine promptly rejected my card. Turns out the last machine I had used before my vacation was of the sketchy variety, and my card had been frozen as protection against card copying fraud. In retrospect, I’m quite grateful – but try telling that to me when I’m starving, tired, and pissed.

Good thing my mom was there to pick me up, or I might have kicked something and broken toes again. She had agreed to drive me to/from Buffalo since it’s loads cheaper to fly within the U.S. than across the Can-Am border. It’s also not that long of a drive, and we’ve got fun family along the way, so she was happy to oblige. She’s also got better luck with technology – her bank card worked just fine, so off we left with a few extra bucks and the intent of stopping for a quick bite to eat before hitting the border.

And then we got outside. Ohhhh, the outside.

I’m not going to describe the outside. But it looked something like this:

static snowstorm

got snow?

And sounded something like this:

What exit do we take? Nine, nine, the map says nine. Yeah, but where is nine? I don’t know, I can hardly see anything! Oh my god, it’s getting worse! This isn’t safe, we need to pull over! I can’t see the road! There is no over to pull to! Just watch the signs, can you see them!? I’ll lean my head out the window – ack, blargh, spit, cough! – I think that’s exit…three! Exit three! So we still have…crap, a long ass way to go. Shit, this is a total white out, I can’t even see the car in front of me! From now on trips to Buffalo are only for good weather! This is so not safe, this is SO! NOT! SAFE! I think that’s a truck up there, careful. Is that a truck? I think that’s a truck. Oh fuck, that’s a truck! It’s on it’s side, it’s flipped! Swerve, swerve!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!

Soooo, yeah. That sucked. By the time I got home and into bed I was already counting down until my next vacation.

On the plus side, Southwest Airlines gave me a spiffy credit for the whole ordeal, enough to cover a flight! Totally worth the hassle, I’d say, especially since within-US flights not around Christmas are pretty reasonably priced, so as soon as I’ve got time saved up at work again I’m getting my ass back on a plane.

In the meantime, here’s some highlights from the holidays:

kiss love woot!

Lovin' up on my man.

manly construction

Josh being manly with his tools. Haha. Tools.

dogs rage against the removal of the carpet

The dogs were less than thrilled with the decision to reno out the carpeting.

dog wood flooring

New wood floors are confusing!

rad kitchen friends

Visiting rad friends in their rad kitchen

the puppy and the boyfriend

Not our puppy 😦

hockey night in...NC

My dad sent a Leafs jersey down as a Christmas gift - woot!

Scrapbook

Josh took me out to choose a scrapbook for our photos...

scrapbook

...and even helped me put it together!

cute shirts much?

I got us matching paw-holding otter shirts! (Which other than this one photo op, will not be worn simultaneously - because there's cute and then there's revolting.)

What’s the deal with the otter shirts? I saw them on icanhascheezburger as a shirt-of-the-day just before I left Toronto and HAD to have them. So I bought them on the spot and had them shipped down to us to arrive just before Christmas as a surprise! Why otters? Because Josh had sent me this video a while earlier to make me smile:

How I Got Here

I’m going to break the general rules of internet existence and tell you that my name is Emerald. My boyfriends name is Josh. I’m not too worried about him in regards to internet stalkers, that’s a pretty common name. I have another blog that I won’t be linking you to anytime soon, and for a very good reason. I’ve started this blog to talk about things that I don’t want people in the real world to know about just yet. Time for a little recreation of the self, if you will.

This blog is about Josh and I, but not to worry: I’m not a retarded fifteen year old doodling hearts on her plastic binder, gazing whimsically at an attractive head of hair some three seats ahead. Instead of oozing and gushing copious amounts of affection and biased praise, I plan to use this outlet as a way of documenting my progress as I slog through a shitfuckton of both momentous occasions and difficulties in regards to our relationship. Yes, I said shitfuckton. If you have a problem with a girl who curses like a sailor, I suggest you keep ridin’ partner, there’s sure to be a blog for you somewhere out there.

But wait, difficulties? Oh no! What can this mean? Are we fighting? At a crossroads? Have I come here to vent about his jackassery? Am I unsure of the sincerity of blah blah blah blah blah? No.

This all brings us to the title of this blog, 800 miles. That’s approximately how far apart we live.

Since I can’t imagine any of you potential readers have stumbled upon our story elsewhere, let me fill you in. Josh and I met right here on WordPress, in a fantabulous twist of the fates. Last October, he commented on a post of mine, and I followed suit on his. The rest is pretty much history involving upgrades to facebook and instant messaging. What started as an exploration of the differences between where we live and what we do turned into an ongoing conversation about who we are as people, how we relate to the rest of the world, and how we feel about life, love, and all the rest of that good stuff. We began to wonder what sort of joke was being played on us – evidently we were meant to be together if not for that pesky mileage issue. I’m not sure exactly when, but it became pretty clear after a while that we were dating anyways. With the miraculous advantage of live chatting, webcams and heartfelt letters, a solid relationship formed without the need to have met face to face. This was an interesting predicament for a girl quite used to nookie whenever she feels like it, and as it turns out it was a refreshing change for the better. At any rate, on March 10th, Josh wrote an in-depth romantic letter (via facebook obviously, we are in our twenties after all) explaining his true feelings for me. His sister-in-law accidentally closed the window, and so the letter was never sent. Forgoing patience, he decided against rewriting it and simply blurted out via msn: I’m in love with you.

Awwww

Awwww

Yeah, yeah, I know. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Good thing I’m in love with him too. And so the facebook status was changed to “in a relationship”, a momentous occasion for anyone sucked in by the whole genre, and I began to make plans to visit him. For a number of reasons I’ll get to in a second, these travel plans were held off for a while, leading only to a stronger relationship in the meantime. But eventually, all worked out and off I went. Via Greyhound I did travel, a 24 hour trip filled with…well, all the fantabulous fuckuppery one can expect from spending a day on a bus filled with the public. I made it there in one piece and finally got to see my wonderful boyfriend face to face and spend a week with his amazing family and friends, and obviously his amazing self as well.

I am smitten. There was no awkwardness, a little bit of nervousness, but almost immediately a very smooth transition into face-to-face togetherness, a falling into routine that made it difficult to believe we’d ever been apart, and even more difficult getting back on the bus the next weekend. We’d been talking long term plans from the beginning – our agreement on these most important topics being one of the ways we fell in love in the first place – but now we’re heading in that direction for sure.

But there are a few things in our way.

Firstly is the 800 miles between us. Secondly is the pesky US-Canadian border between us. Yeeeeaaah, you didn’t see that coming, did you? So one of us has to deal with immigration bullshit if we’re to be together, and neither of us are down with running down the aisle simply for a green card. I’m the Canuck, by the way, Josh is from the heart of Dixie Land and damn proud of it. We’ve already decided that Canada has more advantages in the way of schooling and healthcare and economics, but for the immediate future, it’s looking like it’ll be easier for me to move down there for a bit. He’s got a criminal record, you see.

Oh, what’s this! A convicted felon? I’m head over heels for some rebel troublemaker who surely can’t be serious about our future together? From the south no less? Oh, the stereotypes! I can hear the judgement from this side of the computer screen. Well, no. Been there, done that. Josh spent a few years rebelling against his Flanders-esque upbringing (we are talking about the Deep South, do recall) and was finally bitchslapped by the long arm of the law. At this point he realized that if he didn’t calm down some, he was going nowhere fast. And so he smartened up, and from what his friends and family have told me, is barely recognizeable from the what-was seven years ago. As for me, I don’t even know that person. But this is the US judicial system and the red tape drags on and on and on. He still has court dates looming from well before I met him, and every time a date comes up, I’m stuck 800 miles away not knowing if he’s going to be coming back that afternoon with yet another continuation, or if he’s going to be taken away for anywhere from a few weeks to a few years.

What’s a girl to do? Fuck that, that’s what. I’m not sitting by waiting for my man to be taken away and then given back before I figure out how to get our lives together. If Josh is stuck where he is then I’ll have to pack up my shit and move down there. I’ve moved on my own plenty of times, dragged myself out of impoverisHed debt many a time, and I can do it again. Obviously, it’s just going to be more complicated.

So that’s where I am – caught up in a whirlwind of solid love but complicated circumstances. And because I’m sure it’s going to be a story worth retelling later, I thought it wise to document it along the way. Hope you’ll follow along for the ride, it’s sure to be exciting.

Oh, by the way, Josh is going to be here too. We’ve decided on a dual blog, so you’ll be able to hear his side of all this too. Fun times!