Tag Archives: New Year

Smuggle Me to Canada

11 Dec

My Canadian voyage draws nearer.

It’s difficult. Gas money to the north is tight, it’s going to be cold, and I have questions.

Normally I wouldn’t fret over questions. I would take comfort in the fact that two heads are better than one and that when Dave and I are together he will take care of the things I openly struggle with on this blog, like navigation…and a steady supply of clean pants…and managing my Skittles intake.

Do they have Skittles in Canada? Are they weird Canadian Skittles or like, regular Skittles? I want American Skittles. I’m a patriot.

Regardless of the Skittles situation, I don’t have Dave’s help on this one because I’m flying solo. What are the roads like? What if I don’t understand the signs? What if there are lots of assumed Canadian normalcies that I don’t know about and what if I don’t answer the questions at the border correctly and what if the states won’t let me back across the border because they don’t believe that a young healthy American woman would launch herself across the border at a prime stage of life or that she would choose Canada as her first international adventure and what if they interrogate me?

I remember when my family once went to Niagara Falls they asked my mother her nationality at the border. She answered “Pennsylvanian.” I don’t think I’m really set of up success here.

Can I bring my cats? Can I take cats across the border? I have a complimentary pass for two to the Museum-of-Something-Kind-of-French-Sounding. Could I redeem that pass for say, my cat? Because it’s unlikely I’m going to befriend a Canadian in less than a day in a way that says “Hey, I’m totally normal and safe and I know this is fast but you should totally go to this museum. Which one? I don’t really know. Where? I’m not sure – can you tell me? Here’s my American coupon for your Canadian land attractions. Show me to this so-called ‘museum.'”

I might be able to use my extra pass to try to pick up a male specimen. I could pretend to be a mysterious American who is looking for adventure in Vancouver and just happens to have a pass for two to the Museum-of-Something-Kind-of-French-Sounding and see if my quirky American wiles are successful across the border. I guess that’s not really pretending because I actually am all of those things except looking for a Canadian male.

That might also be a classic serial killer tale. I’m not sure which. The differences between the serial killer tales and the best friends forever tales can be quite minor.

I have dreams that in Canada they find my squinty right eye and half-hunch appealing. Those maple leaf lovers might hop on this in a hot second. Especially if I bring my cat.

By the way, Dave doesn’t read my blog. I discourage it. So if I disappear someone is going to have to alert him that I could be trapped in Canada with a perhaps-serial-killer.

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I don’t know if I’m going to be able to pull off this “go to a new country” resolution before the end of the year. I have the passport and I have the voucher that’s redeemable for a place to put my head and a place to go when my head wakes up. As long as I eat something in the midst of all that, I’ll have a full-fledged whirlwind tourist experience in only 24 hours. I just need to get the money to eat. And to drive there.

The voucher includes valet parking. I like the idea of my tired little car going all the way to Canada and then getting to sleep with all the fancier cars. That’s if my little car doesn’t tire out on the way. It’s used. Very used.

My whole adventure is littered with tiny problems. Mostly they’re financial but I figure I’m two complete steps closer to crossing a border than I was this time last year. A tax return or an unexpected ebay sale or a few laborious babysitting stints and I’m on my way to The Great North. I briefly considered a little online fundraiser to see if people would fund a 20-something white female shut-in getting some culture, but I can’t imagine that resounds loudly with a large population of crowdfunders.

That, and I might need to call on that one for my potential 2014 365 Project, wherein I try to save $10,000 in a year or have to donate an egg.

I haven’t had a 365 with an ultimatum before, but I figure hey: let’s go right for drastic. I’m going to need that crowdsourcing card when I’m faced with two months left on my ultimatum without meeting my goal and I’m starting to reeducate myself on the effects of being hopped up on hyper estrogen.

That’s unofficial, by the way. I still have 20 days to finalize the plan. There are a lot of things I suck at so there are a lot of things to consider conquering, not just being poor. While I’m at it, I encourage you to consider taking up a 365 as well. I’ve pulled this soapbox out a lot of times so you can read more about why that’s the best decision you’ll ever make in your life here or here or here.

Or here.

Or here.

Just, you know, think about it. You have 20 days. And maybe after enough of my readers have tried it (like this one), I can finally convince Dave to do it too. I’m like Oprah but instead of giving away cars and books and flights with John Travolta, I’m giving away hesitant year-long commitments.

Seriously though it’s awesome and every year of your life you don’t do a 365 is basically a waste, as proven by myself in the dull, dark year of 2012.

So here’s the plan: I’m going to continue to find ways to scavenge for dollars to fuel my car to Canada to complete my 2013 resolution, I’m going to work on a post that sums up my 365 for 2013 (dubbed Project Fatass 365) I’m going to figure out the details of my 2014 365 Project, and you’re going to consider slightly the possibility of completing a 365 Project as well.

It seems I have a lot more to do than you. Maybe you could do more than “consider slightly.” Perhaps we can upgrade to “consider moderately.”

We’re running out of time, people. Twenty days until the end of the year. Get your goals together and let’s debrief after I conjure creative ways to raise money in ten days or less.

Canada, I’m sorry for the delay; I’m coming. I’ll figure it out.

It might be time to put smuggling on the table. 


Caution: Old Age Ahead

28 Nov

There are two times in the year that I am forced to reconcile with my own shortcomings and/or revel in my accomplishments.  The first is my birthday.  It falls in July so it’s a good middle-of-the-year human performance assessment.  The second is the New Year.  Right now.

When I woke up yesterday and realized December is about to punch us all in the face with its jolly, blustery fist, I realized I have one month to right whatever is still wrong from last year’s complaints.  I believe I’ve taken care of everything on the list except “get a passport”, which is crucial to next year’s inevitable goal: “go somewhere”.  In general, it’s a good system for helping me reflect on both my goals and my mistakes so that when I get hit by a truck one day, I have a minimal amount of reflection to do before my soul leaves my body.

It’s just good sense to plan ahead.

Of course, on occasion these little sessions don’t go as hoped and instead of reflecting on improvements for the oncoming year, I focus on how incredibly old I am.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know; statistically speaking, it’s likely that you’re older than me.  I mean I’m old for myself but I’m not old if we consider actual old people.  But even if you’re older than me, you have to admit that there is something that happens to you in your 20’s in which you transition from being young and fun and not responsible for anything to being not young, no fun, and so much responsibility that you wonder if you could just get hospitalized for a little bit to help get you out of a few things.

Except student loans.  No one can stop the student loans.

So the other day I was all wrapped up in my old-ness partially because I’m in reflection mode with January approaching and partly because Dave pointed out that the people playing moms in the Kraft macaroni and cheese commercials are our age now.  And he’s right: they are.  

That’s a painful realization, my friends.  

And that’s the humiliation of growing up I suppose – how it creeps up on you.  The way that it just slowly invades all your sacred space until one day you wake up and you’re upset that so many young kids are moving in and making a ruckus in your apartment complex or that you actually really like Raisin Bran or that you can’t go join a hippie commune any time you want now because you have bills, man.

Perhaps I should add “come to terms with own age” to my list of to-dos for 2013.   Hey, at least if I fail I can hop a flight to another country and ignore everything with my newly acquired passport.

How about you all? How are your resolutions and reflections faring with only one month to go?  

Feel free to tell me that you also enjoy Raisin Bran. It would help me, you know, deal. 

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