Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Today I carved myself a spiritual jack-o-lantern.

After I scooped out all the guts and seeds, I carved a big crooked smile on its face, crammed it full of all the negative shit that was in my head, soaked it in gasoline, lit it on fire and threw it into the street where it was immediately run over by a UPS truck.

That feels better.

Wishing everyone a jolly ol' time.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

How Do You...

...Forgive the mistakes of the past? Yourself?

I have hindsight. I have regrets. I've made mistakes I cannot undo, oh though I wish so much that I could. I followed the paths I could find. I knew there were others, I just didn't know how to find them.

With the benefit (curse?) of hindsight, I see clearly what might have been different - "if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, every day would be a merry Christmas!"

Had This happened and That happened and This NOT happened, maybe That would have turned out like This.

But nobody knows how That will turn out or how This might affect That. Though if we all have the benefit of hindsight (or introspection), you'd expect that those who have gone before would ensure past mistakes aren't repeated.

If you can look back and see clearly the things that should have been done differently, things you had no control over but someone else did, how do you let that go and move past it?

Not sure why this has come up or why it's stuck in my craw, but I've been working on it. What I think is true is that regardless of opportunities (missed or otherwise), people are who they are and will do what they will...

So even if This *had* been That or I'd done That instead of This, it may not have changed anything in the end. I made the choices I did for a reason, good, bad or otherwise. If I had it all do to over again, without the benefit of clairvoyance of course, I'd probably do it all the same.

But if anyone out there would like a list of things NOT to do, I can help with that. Send a self-addressed, stamped catalog-sized envelope to Blunders to Avoid, 673 Fumbler Road, Aimless, NJ, 07508

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I'm not a hothead - really, I'm not. I talk a good game when I rant about things that annoy me, but I'm actually very even-tempered and easygoing. Seriously. Shut up and let me finish.

I get frustrated and annoyed like anyone, but I don't FLIP OUT on people like someone I'm related to ("it's in the DNA!!!"). I let most things go - laugh it off and make fun of it later, here.

But there are things that I just cannot ignore, things I find so egregious that have to be dealt with or I won't be able to live with myself. Like when you pay for a cup of coffee and they don't fill it all the way up.

The other day I bought myself a present and a friend said I HAD to snap a photo of it when it arrived and post it for all to enjoy. I was happy to oblige.

I was also happy to support such a great cause. I love what this woman has done and that proceeds are donated to Planned Parenthood in Palin's name. I wish I'd thought of it.

As I normally do, I posted my handiwork on Flickr and enjoyed the supportive comments that immediately popped up.

Then someone I don't know, someone who found my photostream through a mutual contact posted a comment disapproving of the language I had used in the photograph [?]. He also didn't understand a joke in one of the comments from a friend of mine - but, I let it go.

I posted an incredibly polite, considerate reply explaining that I did not agree with him - that as Spalding Gray would say, there are no bad words... and that we should all remember this is my photostream and everyone has the choice not to look at if they don't like it.

His response to that was to post a giant reply lecturing me on my use of foul language and that I absolutely should be the morality police and censor my content for the entire world.

I didn't let that go. I posted one more response, a stronger yet still considerate message reiterating my position and I even explained that his original post was fair, but something about it just got under my skin and that this may not be an appropriate use of the platform. It was a polite Thanks, But Please Move On.

I'm sure you can guess what happened next. Another huge reply with him going off - it was so long I didn't want to take that much time to read what I knew would only annoy me.

One nice thing about Flickr is that at any time, should you want to, you can block a user and prevent him/her from commenting on your photos.


Blocking him removed every comment he'd ever made on any photo. It was like he'd never existed. Harsh, maybe, but why in the world would I waste more time debating some stranger who showed no respect for me or my content in the first place? Life is too short.

Then he had the nerve to email me directly and scold me for blocking him. He also claimed to know what type of language I should be capable of using and that I was exploiting free speech.

I did not let that go. Can you believe the ego on this one? Well, you must know what I said to him, literally as well as in so many words - yes, a big Fuck YOU. To his credit, he seems to have respected my request to not contact me again. Even if he does, there will be no exchange.

It's perfectly fine to disagree with me - I enjoy a spirited exchange of ideas. But to lecture me and the world about a harmless photo was over the line. He missed the point entirely and instead of shutting up and moving on, went even further, into the land of Oh No You Di-int.

Had he taken the matter offline originally, that might have been different, but still, no one asked for opinions. Look at it or don't - it's a personal choice. I won't make it for others and I don't want it made for me.

Now, fill the cup all the way or give me a discount.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mid-Life Diet

Is it just me, or have other people upon reaching their early 40s had to eliminate foods from their diet due to intolerance, allergy or other reasons? Is this normal?

I swear, the list of what I can eat or drink gets shorter every day. It's down to meat or eggs, starch and water. And bananas. And cookies, thank god.

It all started with the headaches. My head is totally broken.

With so many years of experience, you get to know your headaches - the average low-level annoyers, the sinus-related killers, the full-on migraines and others that are unique, brought on only in certain instances.

I've discovered over the years that BHT gives me a particular, skull-crushing head cleaver. It's brought on by any food containing this preservative - a suspected cancer-causing agent, I might add.

All mass-market cereals use BHT. Your Post, Kelloggs and General Mills-type fare - all your favorites, though plain ol' Cheerios is poison-free. It was a sad day when I had to remove Golden Grahams and Honeycomb from my shopping list.

Another BHT source - Potato Buds and other brands of instant potatoes or packaged dry foods. Caint have none of 'em.

MGS is another headache. It's in almost everything that's processed - soups, chips, crackers, sauces, some stocks - anything that tastes better than it should likely has MSG in it, and a lot of restaurants are using it again, though most of them won't offer that info unsolicited. Ask.

Then there's dairy. All cow products give me horrific headaches, a particular type that also comes with big dark circles under my eyes and a bloated face. Super attractive.

Nothing makes it go away. Well, a glass of fizzing codeine dampens it a little, but it hangs on for almost 24 hours every time. Doesn't matter if it's raw, organic, homogenized, pasteurized or has live active cultures. If it comes from a cow - no dice. So far, goat cheese seems to be OK.

Next on the list, and this one really makes me sad - so sad - chocolate and cocoa. Just in the last year or so these kids started making trouble in my head. My favorite Bensdorp Cocoa and Callebaut chocolate chips [sniff]... no more. Even small amounts are too much. Tragic.

Just about any liquor aged in a barrel makes a fine headache, though good red wine usually doesn't. White wine will almost every time and some champagnes and sometimes beer. Silver tequila on the rocks seems to be OK, but no reposado, no anejo, and no mixer/sugar.

Then there's raw veggies or too much fiber in any one dish. Whoa, Betty, that is an unpleasant experience the next day. I used to love carrot and celery sticks. Now, my lower GI says NO to that. That was an uncomfortable discovery to say the least.

What does that leave me? Steak, potatoes & eggs and Don Julio Silver, the breakfast of champions.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dennis, Come to Vancouver

We need you. Dennis, I implore you, come out of retirement and come to the Great White North. We don't know what's happening or why.

Some examples:

Recently in the news was the trial of five individuals charged with the kidnapping of a guy - they held him for about a week before police raided a number of homes in the area and finally found him.

At no time have the reporters (or online content) offered up a possible motive or explained they could not learn of a motive. There was no ransom note and no explanation from the accused, the victim or the victim's family. WTF?

A guy disappeared after a truck rally and they found his truck by the bank of a river, still running. He'd been missing for a year and they just found his body. No one's offered any sort of scenario as to what might have happened. Not even a guess.

Am I just too used to Bay Area news that tells us more than we thought we ever wanted to know about every little thing? Am I just a nosy American?

I don't think that's it. I think if a kid gets kidnapped at gunpoint and held for 8 days before he's found, alive, we should get some information as to why it happened.

The weather forecasting isn't much better than the reporting. The sun was supposed to come out today. Didn't see it once. Grrr.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Someone For Everyone

I love my husband - I really do - but I really don't want him using my toothbrush. It's not about germs, it's about how he creates a wild froth of toothpaste and spit that drips down the entire length of the thing, dropping giant foamy globs into the sink. He seems to love doing this but I think it's disgusting.

Just the thought of that all over *my* toothbrush grosses me out. He knows this and it's why we use the little color-coded thingies on the attachments. But he's color blind, so I use a darker red or pink one and he gets a lighter one - something that can't be confused for the darker color. It's a good system and it usually works.

The other day he came home from the store with off-brand replacement brushes. They're color-coded, but you can't interchange the colors - they're built into the stupid brush.

Knowing there wouldn't be any way to tell our brushes apart, I went to the trouble to mark my brush with a handy code - my initial - and a smiley face decoration. Proud of myself for solving the problem, I went to bed assured that I wouldn't find my brush in the shower the next morning sitting in a pool of slimy foam.

The next morning my brush was right where it should have been, on the charger, and his stood right next to mine with its own new decoration. Is it weird that something like this makes me love him even more? Because I do.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I'm all muddled up. Lots of crap crowding my brain. It's been a weird week. Finding out not one, but two former classmates passed away recently, feeling extremely homesick already, yet still [trying to be] excited about the adventures to come.

I keep feeling like I want to be "home," back with my friends, family and my familiar routines. I want to buy orecchiette pasta at the Fruit Basket in Sonoma, because I doubt I'll ever find it here. "Orechetwhat?"

I want to go to a restaurant and have a choice of tequila other than [gag] Patron and [puke] Cuervo. I want to go out to dinner and not spend almost a hundred dollars on the stupidest thing ever invented - tapas, the greatest restaurant swindle of all time - and expensive wine that tastes only OK.

I want pretentiousness to be exterminated like the virus it is. I want the checker at Save On to be a little less frantic about chucking my groceries into bags like her hands are on fire and my food is made of gasoline. I want to wrap myself in a fleece cocoon and stay there for the next six months.

Everything is a little raw right now, but as Alan likes to remind me, this too, shall pass. On a more positive note, I finally started a personal project and made great progress on it. I'm excited about where that might lead. So, it's not all shit. Tomorrow should be better.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Downer Friday

I learned today a high school friend passed away this morning. Who has a heart attack and dies at 41? How can that happen? He had three little girls. I don't even know what to say.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's Already Happening

The craziness. Dementia. It's happening.

While puttering around the house Saturday morning I noticed the front door was unlocked. I asked David if he'd gone outside that morning. He said he hadn't. I said we must have left the door unlocked the night before.

Uh, actually, I'd gone to the store early that morning and had already forgotten all about it. I know it's happening and maybe I should be worried. But I'm not. I'm looking forward to forgetting all sorts of stuff. I imagine it'll be a great relief and the days will get a lot more exciting.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Craigslist Debate

When doing business on Craigslist there's a high probability of dealing with weirdos, but that can be part of the fun. You never know who you might meet or what sort of debate [argument] you might start.

After I posted an ad to sell our TV, one of the first responses was from a woman who wished she needed a TV so she could come by and give me a high five. That made my day. We exchanged numerous emails and now she's my new BFF here in Vancouver - yo Lauren!

One guy wanted to trade us scrap lumber for the TV. We were interested in firewood, not 6'-long 2x4s we would have to gradually feed into the fireplace. But thanks - it was a nice thought.

Another guy responded promptly that he wanted to "buy it off" us, which was nice, but then he sent a follow up response that he'd read the ad through and now he didn't want it. It's so true - no one reads anything online.

After we sold it I updated the ad that it had been sold. Today I got a response from someone who responded to my crack about Palin polluting the airwaves, saying better her in the White House than - you'll never guess... wait for it... "a monkey."

Isn't that wonderful? And people wonder why I say things like "bring on the meteors" and why I'd prefer we didn't have seat belt and helmet laws. We have to cull the herd - NOW.

If morons like this are permitted to vote, let alone breed, the planet is truly doomed.

Admittedly, my response was less than productive, saying "Sarah Palin is about as valuable as a used tampon in a clean underwear drawer. Her head is so far up her ass that she can see McCain’s team in there pulling the strings. I’d vote for a monkey any day before voting for that useless sack of shit and his stupid twat of a running mate."

Sure, I could have ignored the message, but it's not every day I get to put all those words together in one email and hit the Send button. I wonder if he/she will write me back.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Truth About Canada

the country with a logo!

Lovely as Canada is, there's probably some stuff you didn't know about this fair land... stuff you might want to know if you're considering moving to the Vancouver area.

#1 - No Trader Joe's. Anywhere. This blows so hard, I'm not sure there are words to describe how much this blows. Food is expensive. Regular, everyday grocery store fare - about twice as pricey. Every time I go to the store I spend at least $50 for about enough food for one meal with a few other things thrown in. The funny thing - there's a Whole Wallet here - just one, in West Vancouver - so if you enjoy paying four or five times more $$ for food, c'mon up & go crazy.

#2 - No good pizza - at least we haven't found any yet. Pizza is not a priority here, but poutine is. [hurl]

#3 - Nobody Yelps. No one cares which restaurants might give you food poisoning or which chiropractors will help you vs. put you in traction. Thanks. Thanks for all the helpful info.

#4 - You can't access most U.S. web content - no, no Pandora, etc. When looking for a fantastic Colbert Report clip, I'm redirected to, which broadcasts Comedy Network content, but the bitches don't post the content online like they do in the States. It's jankity. Bitches.

#5 - Importing a car - see previous posts - jacked, jacked, jacked, jacked, JACKED. Bitches.

#6 - People come to your door. In the past two months two people have come to the door to either give me mail improperly delivered down the street or to ask questions about something pertaining to the house (I couldn't understand the guy - he was mumbling with a very thick French accent.) In Alameda, maybe four people came to the door in seven years. I liked that.

#7 - If you want to update a billing address for a credit card, you have to close the account. Global economy? Hardly.

#8 - Tidy Cats cat litter - the regular stuff - it isn't here. No one carries it. I don't know why. It's what the cats like, but for some reason, the regular ol' Tidy Cats isn't sold here. Other TC products are, but not this. Bitches.

#9 - Tim Horton's - not very good. The coffee tastes like water they collected from the puddles in the parking lot. Tire water. Only the maple-dipped doughnut is tasty. Not sure why they merged with Wendy's, but you can get a cup of chili AND a doughnut in one stop. Blech.

#10 - Health Care - now, we've not yet ventured into this area [knock on wood], but political ads talk about difficulty with finding a doctor, like maybe there aren't enough doctors to go around. I guess we'll see.

#11- Insurance - we have the basic ICBC auto insurance, but people here have additional, private coverage. Is driving here so perilous that you should have insurance on top of insurance? Now I'm worried that even after all the work it's taken to get the basic insurance, it may not be enough.

#12 - Crime - definitely alive and well. Maybe not as *much* murder as in the States, but since we've been here, there have been a few nasty murders, a couple of rapes and lots of petty crime. You can't leave anything in your car of any value, even in the suburbs. And under any circumstances, ladies, you cannot, not ever, follow the sound of a man's voice claiming to need help into the woods of Stanley Park (or any park). It won't end well. You can be a good samaritan, just not in the parks, by yourself. You're better off running into a bear.

#13 - Friendliness - by and large, people are about as friendly as in the Bay Area. There's the occasional butt munch, but overall, people are mellow and congenial - not very different than folks in the Bay Area.

#14 - Cell phone charges - hold on to your f*cking hat. If you have a carrier with good international coverage, it may not be an issue. We had AT&T and when David was first up here using his iPhone, that month's bill was over $400. The roaming data transfer and long distance charges are redonkulous. Even the land-line bill was craptacularly high. You'll want to get the calling card and use that sucker. Then you'll want to ditch the American phone & carrier and get a local plan. I don't text my friends anymore - too spensy.

#15 - "In hospital" - it's weird and I don't like it. "The victim was taken to morgue to be identified." "The man went to restaurant to eat." "The woman went to gas station to fill up." Ass.

#16 - Traffic - it's a bitch. There are a lot of people in this area - it feels just like driving around the Bay Area, sometimes it's worse. They've built a lot of bridges, but they don't have enough lanes or they need more of them. There's only one highway in and out of North Vancouver. Just wait 'til 2010 and millions of people are trying to get to Whistler. Should be an Olympic-sized clusterfuck to end all clusterfucks.

#17 - Public transporation - seems to work OK. David takes a nice train called the West Coast Express. He says you can always get a seat, but the seats are small and close together. Not being a fan of people in general, I realize this is less than ideal for him, but at least he can sit. Coworkers report that SkyTrain is often smelly and cramped. Sounds a lot like Bart. But it's efficient and they're continuing to expand the line, so that's nice.

#18 - Homelessness - sadly, a fair amount of it. Lots of folks downtown and some out here in our suburb, somehow surviving on the streets in 30-degree weather, and it's only October. Christ. There appears to be larger numbers living in the woods/parks by Pitt River.

#19 - Drugs and drug addiction - a pretty serious problem. The laws and sentences are lax and public assistance is plentiful and there are huge grow ops all over the province. Pot isn't legal, but they don't get aggro should they see someone strolling down Robson smoking a joint. Lots of crack, heroin and meth use.

#20 - No Peet's - enough said. : ((

That said, no one here would ever dream of nominating someone like Palin for elected office.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Cats Amaze Me

carpey flapjack

Because obviously I'm easily amazed. And I like shiny things.

I've spent a lot of time with our cats this year. Despite being around cats all my life, I still expect them to be aloof and cold, not needing any human interaction beyond feeding times.

And there are days when, if they had thumbs, I know they'd trip me so my head would crack square into the corner of a table and they'd no longer have someone nagging them about getting down off the counters or to stop stealing my socks and hiding them around the house, or to please cover the goddamn giant crap in the box.

But most days, they surprise me with how social they are. While they have bonded together somewhat as a tiny pride of living room lions, they still seem to prefer being with humans, or since I'm the one home all the time, me.

Neo, always a street-tough bulldog of a cat in my eyes, follows me from room to room, curling up near wherever I am. He doesn't have to be right on my lap like Nikita, but he's gotta be in the same room. He's a total badass yet he purrs the moment you touch him - that amazes me.

neo & nikita

With so much more observation time, I've seen much more of their personalities. They're all very different from one another - their only commonalities are bad breath, crapping in a box and loving ground up fish mush.

Ninja is the soft-headed gentle giant, content to play with a tiny carpet fiber or chase his tail on the couch. He doesn't rub his cheek against your leg, but instead gently brushes by like a fish in a lagoon, earning him the nickname Carpey.

He has a surprising range of expressions for a cat so mentally challenged. When he's happy the top of his head becomes rounded and fluffy and a ridge in his fur appears down his back. He's so at ease with the world he's totally comfortable sleeping flat on his back with his belly fully exposed. It's amazingly soft.

Because we see him as so, well, retarded, I was astounded one day when I figured out he was trying to tell me to clean out his crap box.

Like most cats, Ninja is particular about where he craps. The other two are fine with any box and any type of litter, but Ninja's gotta have it exactly the way he wants it or there could be trouble. Like a puddle of urine on the kitchen floor trouble. Or a box of books soaked in cat urine trouble.

As I sat here one day typing on this here computer dealie, he kept carping my leg and meowing softly - something he never does during the day. Normally right after breakfast, he's down for his all-day nap-a-thon - never up before 3pm when it's time to start bullying me into feeding them.

I watched him closely and he didn't look unhappy or stressed - he looked intent. We have two cat boxes in the closet behind me - that's the only reason he comes up here, except for bullying time.

Figuring it couldn't hurt to take a look, I grabbed a plastic bag and took the top off one of the boxes. Sure enough, it was due for cleaning. I scooped all the boxes and as soon as I finished, in he went to pollute it once again. And then he went back to his nap. Amazing.

I could go on and on about them, but if you have cats you know all the funny, weird things they do that make you wonder what planet they came from.

The scary thing is trying to stay on this side of the crazy cat lady line where I'm not talking to them like I know what they're saying back to me, but I gotta tell you, that line is getting blurry.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Maple-Dipped Ass Reaming

Hello Nootsmaakians!

When we last left you, our fearless author had just endured the early stages of a comprehensive rectal exam in an effort to register and insure an automobile here in the fine province of British Columbia.

Let's find out what happened!

After 12 man-hours and a few more spent driving around to obtain forms, repairs and inspections, I'm happy to report the anal reaming is complete.

And now it's confirmed - British Columbia really [REALLY] doesn't want you bringing your car with you when you move here. Why, hasn't been made clear.

If it were just about the economy & wanting people to buy here, they could impose the appropriate taxes to compensate for that - that I would expect.

What I didn't expect was 2+ hours at the insurance agency to get signed up and insurance fees that are double what we paid in California - and that's AFTER a 40% discount for a claim-free record.

In California we were near an area where cars are stolen or burglarized all the time. David's car has a bullet hole in the hood from a random bullet fired somewhere in Emeryville when he used to work there. The East Bay is not without risk factors that can cause higher rates, yet we still paid reasonable fees for two cars driven all over the Bay Area (and beyond).

But here, I'm paying double what I paid in California, with the discount, and the coverage is about the same, though I think ICBC (Idiotic Corrupted Bullshit Corporation), includes an increased amount of general liability coverage.

Still, for a 10-year old car being used for "pleasure" only (I guess we'll have to keep the back seats folded down ALL the time) it's astronomical. Without the discount, I'd be paying $2,400 a year for BASIC insurance.

If I get a job and need to drive my car to & from work, that will cost me more. Can you believe that shit? If you have to drive your car to work, your insurance rates go up. And they want to know the actual mileage you'll be driving to/from work.

So, if I decide to take a long lunch and drive somewhere outside that route to run an errand and something happens, will they deny the claim?

The whole process is intentionally maddening, complicated and time-consuming. Even the wonderfully helpful and friendly folks at the insurance agency, who do this every day, struggled through the forms and the endless questions in the ICBC system.

Now I understand why some people, if they can, skirt this system. It's a full-on racket, from the numerous, bullshit fees you have to pay to different agencies to import to the inspection and its fees and the ridiculously expensive insurance.

Why the residents don't revolt and demand the laws be changed is a mystery. Perhaps this is one of those times when being too polite means we all get to take it up the ass. I've had about all I can take.

I think we'll seriously consider driving David's car back to California and leaving it there. I'm not sure I want to do this again or pay British Columbia any more money to live here. They're making it difficult to consider staying here permanently, but we'll see how it goes from here.

I have to say, I'm disappointed that something that should be so simple has been made intentionally very difficult and painful - and almost punitive.

We're not trying to screw anyone (or the local economy) by bringing our cars with us, but BC is definitely screwing us and as a result, we may not feel so great about staying here.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Import Export Stupidport


You know that guy (or girl) you've dated who, when you first meet him, you feel an instant connection - he's really cool, has a hot body, makes you laugh and dresses in his own style that you actually like?

That guy who seems totally into you at the party, chatting you up, flirting his ass off because you know he'd love to get you home, and you're fine with that because he's the best thing to come along since that guy you dated last year who dropped into a old-married-couple-like rut after the third date.

That guy who once you get to his place and have a look around you're thinking OK, his place is clean and cozy and you actually feel comfortable there and start thinking, This could actually be something...

And then you have a few dates, and just when you think things are clicking along nicely, he stops calling as often, telling you he's "got a lot going on right now" or he's "going through some issues" or "has his head lodged in his rectum and thus can't come to the phone."

Yeah, Canada is that guy. And Canada, I don't want to pull the plug on this so soon, but you need to get your shit together with this car import/registration bullshit, because I don't have the time or patience to deal with your issues.

Everything was great until I tried to take care of the car, and sure as shit, you went all High Maintenance Asshole on me.

Oh, sure, come on up and bring your car - sure - it's no problem. Oh, you want to KEEP your car here, oh, well, you didn't say that, but OK, well, in that case, there's some stuff you're going to have to take care of.

First - FIRST - don't bring your car. That would be the first thing to do. Don't bring it. Leave it in the states and walk across the border and either steal a car registered in British Columbia or purchase an automobile in Canada.

But if you've already brought your car, you'll need to first EXPORT the car from the States. The one you just drove here, the one that's already here in Canada - yes, that one - you're going to have to export that sucker first. So go back to the border to the US Customs office and fill out all that stupid paperwork to get it exported.

Oh, wait, I forgot - to actually export your car, you have to first file some paperwork with US Customs and leave the car in the States for three business days AFTER that paperwork has been filed.

So, go ahead and file that paperwork, verify that US Customs has received it and is is, in fact, ON FILE, then drive your stupid car across the border back into the States, sleep in it for three BUSINESS days, then you can drive back to the US Customs office and obtain the official export paperwork.

Easy, right? Excellent!

Now, with that done, we can start the IMPORT proe-cess. But first, if you wanted to, and this is totally up to you - your call - if you didn't want to bother with the EXPORT thing, you could - COULD - do a temporary import, which you can do if you're only going to be in Canada for a year or two. This is straight from the boys at Uncle Sam's customs office, so, I'm not just saying that to sound accommodating.

That doesn't mean that at some point, if you decided to STAY in Canada, that you may not have to someday bother with the whole export pain in the ass. So, you've been warned.

OK, so back to IMporting. If, like me, you were able to get away with the Temporary Import, Form 1 from the Canadian Customs folks, you can then bypass the RIV - Registrar of Imported Vehicles - proe-cess. The RIV bullshit requires another form or five and a filing fee of $200. For what, is anyone's guess - perhaps to pay for additional web pages full of confusing information.

Canadian Customs will give you the Temporary Import, Form 1 along with a B-15 form that documents the declared value of the car. You'll pay 7% of that value in taxes when you go to register your car.

Oh, you'll also need a Recall Clearance letter from your car's manufacturer (which for some cars, must come from their Canadian office). And you need to have current insurance and a Claims Experience Letter from your insurer that shows a claim-free history for the past eight years. With that, you get a 40% discount off the top. Off the top of a mountain of bullshit paperwork and forms.

Sorry, where was I?

Right, so with your Temporary Import Form 1, a B15, current registration, title, proof of insurance, recall clearance letter, claims experience letter, you'll THEN need to head on over to your local Canadian Tire - For Days Like Today (Really? So where do I shop on a GOOD day?) - where they'll do both a Federal and Provincial Inspection - awesome!

And if you're like me, you actually drive your car to places like Target or the liquor store and sometimes even to Canada, where along the way things can happen, like a chip or crack in the windshield.

And if you have a windshield with a crack or a chip, you can walk right back out of that friendly, neighborhood Canadian Tire because you're going to have to get that fixed before they'll even do the inspection. Which will cost you, for the Provincial Inspection, by the way.

So, where are we? You're going to have to pay taxes on whatever your car is worth, you're going to have to pay standard license and registration fees, you're going to have to pay for any repairs or modifications your car might need to pass the inspection, and then you're going to have to pay for BC insurance - and if you did the full export/import, you'll have to also pay the RIV fees (and another $100 if your car has air conditioning, just FYI).

Do you have a good salve and a rectum-friendly cushion? You may also want to keep your favorite alcohol or pharmaceuticals on hand to supplement the soothing effects of the anal salve.

Oh, and just so you know, your US insurance agency won't want to continue coverage for you once you've moved here, because BC won't recognize foreign insurance policies. Isn't that neat? So if you're not able to negotiate all this bullshit within 30 days, you'll be cut off by your US insurance before you're covered by BC's bullshit insurance, so, you know, good times!

So, no matter how hot Canada might look at that party, just know, if you're thinking about spending any serious time with him, there are going to be issues. He's cool about most things, but this one thing is like some twisted mommy-issue shit that might be too much to stomach.

I'm hoping he gets this shit worked out soon so we can get back to having some fun.