Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Mr, Cupcake at Craters of the Moon
Mr. Cupcake at Craters of the Moon

Thursday, November 29, 2012

let's all hold our breath

The NVC has declared finally that they have all our documents.

Now we wait for the consulate in Montreal to tell me when my interview date is. When will we hear from them?


Please please please please please please let my interview be before Christmas.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

getting in the water

So after my post about my meltdown last week, I decided that's it. I'm going swimming. I looked at the schedules of the swimming pools in the area, saw that there was an aquafit class in 20 minutes, figured I had time to throw together a bag and go. It was fantastic! It was basically me and a bunch of old ladies and a few older men, thrown in with a few special needs people with their care aides.

I've since been back a few times, having decided that since it looks like I'll still be here through Christmas, then I might as well get me a 5-week pass. Now I'm committed. If' I'm not able to make an aquafit class, I'll swim. On Sunday night I did 1300 meters!

Immigration-wise, nothing is happening. We were promised a "progress report" that was supposed to have arrived two days ago. No surprise that it hasn't come. Certainly it seems like everything that could go wrong in my case, has gone wrong.

So I am resigned to being here for the Christmas holidays, especially given that it is now less than four weeks away until Christmas. How much do I have time to knit?

Also, last week I got my Tdap vaccination. I was really irritated when the doctor gave me the "WHY would you want to move to the US?" song. I must say I'm getting really tired of that one. I felt like saying "yes Vancouver Island is lovely but it is not, as our British Columbia license plates say "The Best Place on Earth" (I mean really, how obnoxious is that?) My husband lives in the United States, that should be reason enough. North Carolina has way more opportunities for us than Canada does. We have family there. Not only that, we like it there.

For my American readers, maybe you know this, but it is common and popular among some Canadians to bash Americans or America. Sometimes these same people will claim not to be sexist, racist, homophobic or otherwise discriminatory but somehow it misses their radar that railing against people of a certain nation is also bigotry. I get real uppity about this, as you can see. How would Canadians feel if Americans commonly thought of us as a whole as 'awful'? If it was any other nation Canadians were wrinkling their nose at, anyone with a brain would call it intolerance (religious, race, or otherwise).

So to my Canadian readers, for the record, America is not awful. Americans are not awful. Canada has its warts too, as does every country, no place is perfect. Millions of people immigrate to the United States every year, whether legally or illegally, so clearly it has something going for it. It's not okay to say "America is so awful", and particularly insensitive to say that to someone who has been without their husband for a year and a half and is trying to move there.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

ineptitude, despair, and restlessness

What a cheery title for a blog post.

Before Dan came to visit me from October 27th - November 15th (which is largely the cause for my internet quiet), we (thought we) were on the verge of having my interview date. We had resubmitted the things the National Visa Center (NVC) had asked us to resubmit (namely, the Japan Police certificate and the photo), and we were sure we were just a few days away from getting my date. Then they said "we need you to resubmit the photo again". So we did. And then we waited.

Finally, two weeks later, they said "we need you to resubmit the marriage certificate".

WHAT THE FUCK.

We submitted that in June or July, and seriously guys, if we have to adhere to a checklist of things to submit, why can't you check all the things that need to be submitted on the same checklist? And why not tell us all at once if there are things that need to be done instead of waiting five months?

So Dan dutifully resubmitted the marriage certificate and got the usual banal response "please allow up to 20 days for us to process".

So once again, or still, I have no idea what the next month or three or five holds.

I'm so tired of being tossed around. There is supposedly an "expedite" flag on my file, and given that my priority date is January 5, 2012, we really expected I would have been there by now. Are they really just messing with us? Because it sure seems like that with every single thing we have to do or step to take, there is a problem. It is so exasperating.

Prior to my medical exam, the appointment for which I am not allowed to make until I have the date of my interview in Montreal, I am required to get some vaccinations. The flu shot is easy, it's available anywhere. In September I called the public health clinic and was told I could get the other vaccination, Tdap, free, any time. I went to get these done yesterday. I got the flu shot at a pharmacy, and while the pharmacist did not have the Tdap (Tetanus, diptheria and pertussis) vaccine, she said I could just go to the public health clinic four blocks away and get it for free.

So off I went to the clinic. A snarky receptionist told me that NO they don't do the Tdap and that I would have to go to a travel clinic, that I would have to "purchase" the vaccine (why not just say pay for?), that I would need to make an appointment and phone around because it's not easy to find.

WTF.

Deep breath. Back to my truck. Look up number for travel clinic on my iPhone. Phone clinic. Get voice mail. Leave a message.

Two hours later they return my call. Nice receptionist. Appointment on Friday afternoon, $40 for the doctor's fee, $45 for the vaccination. So much for free health care in Canada.

Now I am mindful that Mercury is in retrograde so maybe after it goes direct on Monday then everything will work out. Even so, there is a limit to how much I can take.

I had a thing happen this morning which is not worth retelling because it is a minor thing, but it triggered an emotional response that basically broke the dam of emotions I didn't know I had been holding in. I cried for hours, felt gutted by despair, and wondered how the heck I am going to get through the next weeks or months until I can be with my husband again. I want to start living my own life again. I want to build soil and plant flowers. I want to be working and feel useful.

I'm not sure what I experienced this morning was actually a depressive episode. My last episode was some time in May, I think, and because I have had a number of them in the past year and a half that Dan and I have been apart, I am keenly aware of what it feels like. Today I was just sad and then mad. Why is my immigration taking so long? Do the letters of the senators and governors and other government officials mean nothing? Will I be with Dan for Christmas?


Yesterday I was installing foam insulation in the basement while listening to the Caithness Craft Collective podcast. LouiseJHunt has a segment called "Random Hellos" and she included me, saying "yarnsalad, how are you, O quiet one?" and that was very sweet. I have been unusually quiet-on-the-internet these past months, it's true. I have so much unstructured time you would think I would be able to put a blog post together a bit more often but alas, it has not been so.

So to wrap up, then, while I don't wish to speak disparagingly of the people who are handling my documents at the NVC, because we have had to submit and resubmit each document at least twice, it makes me wonder what their job qualifications are and what is happening to all the misplaced documents we have submitted. That's the "ineptitude" of the title of this post. Despair was me this morning, Restlessness is me now. I'm ready to move on to the next thing. There is a nice big house and yard waiting for me in Kinston and I can't wait to get unpacked. I haven't seen most of my stuff (in boxes in the basement) for a year and a half. How much longer will it be?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

a peep or two

Hi Friends,

I'm in the middle of the visit with Dan so I have not really been online much and probably won't be until after he leaves. It's been great to have him here, and from the minute I picked him up at the ferry we agreed it was like no time had passed at all. What a relief after eight and a half months! It took a few days to adjust to the time change, the leisure to relax (i.e. sleep), to sleeping together (i.e. the snoring!) but our reconnection was just as our first meeting was - free and easy, as if we have always been together.

Dan and Stacey Reunion socks as they are meant to be worn!
We have visited with some family and friends, been to a few restaurants, spent a couple of days in Vancouver, and today I think we'll go off and see the salmon run at Goldstream Park. The time is flying and we still have a few other social engagements to attend in the next week, but it's nice that we get to have this time together.

An immigration update: last we heard they weren't happy with my photo so we resubmitted another one a week ago. The photo is the last thing they need before setting my interview date so for goodness sake I hope this all happens soon, before Christmas.

At any rate, all is well and the sun is shining.