Good Girls Don't

It’s such a nice feeling to be happy with something you wrote. Sure I could have let it sit overnight and come back to it with more ideas and points to add, but it’s good as it is. I like it.

So here it is… my fresh column from Bewitching Vagabond at BackWash

Good Girls Don’t

Did you know I write erotica? Well, I do. Not often, just when I come up with an intriguing idea. It’s different to other writing. For one thing I do battle with myself about it frequently. Why, you might wonder.

It’s that whole good girls don’t write naughty stories sort of thing. Truly good girls don’t even read that stuff either but I’m too old to still be that good. I’m a divorced woman now, you can’t expect me to be snow white pure any more. Yes, I don’t mean to shock you, but even good, nice, sweet girls have sex at least now and then. Though we have to wait to be asked. We aren’t allowed to go out and hunt them down. Check the rule book if you’re in doubt.

Not that hunting them down doesn’t sound fun… Now I’m getting sidetracked. But, still, umm, I’ll just file a few things away for another time. Back in a bit.

OK, that’s one other part of writing erotica, getting ideas at inconvenient moments. It happens to most writers but with erotica it’s not always so easy to jot down notes at work, on the bus, at the dinner table, etc. People might see what you wrote!!! Can you imagine your Mother reading something erotic in your penmanship? My Mother wouldn’t quite be shocked, just that kind of disappointed thing. Thus the whole good girls don’t complex again.

Anyway, writing erotica is kind of a dare for me. A dare to myself. I used to think it was some deep, dark secret I had to keep from the rest of the world and everyone at BackWash. But, I’m not good at keeping secrets. Just ask anyone who has asked me to keep a secret. Eventually I forget we’re keeping it a secret and I just blab about it when the subject comes up in conversation.

I hope you have something you dare to do in spite of the world. It’s fun, freeing too. Kind of like standing on the edge of a cliff, the path not taken and then taking that step and letting all the preconceived notions of proper civilization fly away as you fall into a life of sin. Not quite sin, but it looks good on paper. Just like the erotica itself, it looks good on paper but who knows if any of it would ever work out that way.

Which is another thing, I have to wonder what people think when they read the stuff that comes out of the darkened corners of my brain. Do they think that’s me or do they know that’s just some part of me leaking out again.

In the end, I have to know who I am and just go with it. Let me know how it turns out… I’ll just keep my eyes closed the way good girls should.

Black Out 2003

They seem to be calling it that. The only place I’ve had news so far was from the battery operated radio and just now from the AOL site as I logged in. But, I’ve been living it. We just got power back after 24 hours without electricity, water or phones. Everything was gone. I washed my face this morning in water I scooped out of the pool in the backyard. My car is very low on gas but the lines are still very long at the stations so I’m afraid to wait in them and run out while I’m waiting my turn.

It’s been hard doing without flushable toilets, communication and running water. I’ve missed those three things the most.

We still don’t know how long the power will last. It might go off any second and not come on again until Monday. So, this will be a shortish entry. I also, agreed to babysit for my sister tonight and I have to leave soon.

I’m so glad for the pool here today. I went in for a refreshing swim as soon as I came back here from trying to find a bank machine and checking on the rest of the family living around here. We had no radio at the house, no batteries that were working. I heard my radio in the car while driivng or during the time I was at my sister’s house.

Anyway, it’s been interesting. I’ve heard a lot of strories from other people. Some were at a funeral when it went off. Some were on the highway running out of gas. I was fixing a man’s watch at work. I had to fumble around in the dark to find all the pieces and then put them in a little bag so he could take them home. He didn’t want to wait. But, we had no clue the power was off for so many others or for such a great distance. At first we thought it was the fault of construction for the new Home Depot they have been building next door. It was a huge surprise to find out it wasn’t just our store, or our block or our town.

Hope everyone is doing ok. Take care and enjoy the power while you have it.

Got the EAD in Chicago

Got the EAD in Chicago
6/15/01 11:40 am

Todd and I had a five hour train trip to Chicago to get the EAD. With taxis, hotel and etc we spent at least $300. We left Sunday evening to get there for the 8:30 AM appointment on Monday. This is the first time I’ve had an appointment and wasn’t at all worried about anything. We got to the right building, on Jackson Street, took a cab there. Cabs were in short supply, the one we phoned was going to be half an hour. While outside waiting another one dropped someone off and I snagged it. Even then we were just in time to get there for the doors opening. There was a huge line, two blocks down one street and around the corner. We found out our appointment letter was a get out of line sooner card. The security people came along and asked who has an appointment. Then they told us to go ahead and get in. Went through the security check. In Montreal the checked through my purse and had us empty pockets. There they just xrayed all our bags (purse and overnight bag) and had us walk through the metal detector. No problem. Todd was cautious because he thought the security would be a bit tighter on the day Timothy McVeigh was executed.

Anyway, we took an escalator up to the second floor, ignored the line there and went through the glass doors to an opened room where we handed over our appointment letter and were told to sit and wait. Familiar territory, eh?

I was in the second group called up. The first batch had an 8:00 appointment which didn’t mean much since the building wasn’t open until 8:30. Its just a way of sorting people out once they get inside. I was called up and they said they needed the green letter with the yellow receipt and a drivers license or other photo ID. I didn’t have a drivers license but Todd and I had recently gotten the photo ID for the state. It looks almost the same as the drivers license card. That was fine. I checked my name and address on their paper thing and I signed my name. I still have to think to sign my married name, still have to remember its me when someone calls me by it too.

Next, a fingerprint, smudged and yet another ear picture. I actually asked the woman taking the picture what the deal is with all these ear pictures. She said she didn’t know. But she was rushed as they were pushing everyone through the process pretty quick. I went back to sit with Todd in the waiting area.

They called me up to pick up the card in about 2 minutes. I went up as they were calling up the next batch of people for ID checking. In the instructions of what to bring they had asked for the marriage license and some other things but none were asked for, only the photo ID and green and yellow receipt.

After that we were out of there. Todd wanted to go back to the hotel until our train at 4:00. But I really wanted to get to the bookstore where I hoped Jane was still working. I wasn’t sure she was still there but we went anyway. Walked part way and then got lost and took a cab. Jane was lovely, even bought me a good coffee. Todd laughs about good coffee, he doesn’t understand. 🙂 It was wonderful meeting Jane and chatting about her trip and her INS experiences. Thanks for the coffee Jane. 🙂

Hope this helps someone else. I can’t think of any other details to add. We got back late on Monday night. Todd _loved_ the train trip. I was just glad to see the end of it. lol

Read more of these old posts – Our Adventures with the Fiancé Visa (2000 – 2002)

THE Interview

THE Interview
12/7/00 11:08 pm

It went ok. Everyone seems to say they are there until 3 or 4 in the afternoon. I was out before noon, with the visa. Maybe they have changed the process. I had the interview and he said it would be an hour while they added the visa to my passport, it wasn’t. We were out of there in record time. 🙂

I went with my Mom. We stayed at the TravelLodge. It was small in a cute way but there were cobwebs on the ceiling, the shower curtain was useless and the first room was mildewy. We changed to a second room without the mildew, still cobwebs. But the room was cute. Two little twin beds, one counter and the TV hovering over us on the opposite wall. A very small room but cosy. I liked it.

There was a free breakfast, it didn’t start until 7:00am. We went for it. Didn’t get to the consulate until near or a bit after 8:30. Here is a hint for those still going to Montreal. Its actually a side door on St. Alexander Street. You can get free parking behind the building if you ignore the french signs telling you its reserved for something or other. We didn’t have a clue what they said. But we didn’t get towed or have a ticket. 🙂

The security ladies checked our purses. I had already emptied mine of everything but the essentials. This made things easier. We removed our coats and those were checked too. Don’t keep anything embarrassing in your purse/ wallet. After they are scanned they go through them physically too.

After that she gave me a number (18) and we went up a flight of stairs and came to a room where people were in line. The elevator to the ninteenth floor was past the lineup. I wondered if this was where we paid the US$. But we passed it by and took the elevator. It was the right choice. Everything is up on the 19th floor, including the cashier. When the elevator gets to 19 (there is only 19 and 22, no other choices but down) you turn around and get out. Sit in the area for immigrant visas and wait for your number to be called. You will hear your number where ever you sit but you might meet someone to chat with if you are in the right section.

The place is beige on beige. For some reason I was expecting new looking blue padded chairs. I don’t know where I latched onto this idea but its stuck with me all along. 🙂

Anyway, you will see windows 7 to 13 I think. I know it starts at 7. That is where you will be called to hand in your paperwork. First you are called there. You hand in your number and the letter from the consulate giving you the appointment date and time. Once he has that you are sent to the cashier. You get a receipt and go right back to the window. He looks over everything and tells you what is missing. I had only one copy filled out of the little form so I filled out a second one at the window while he sorted through the other papers and asked me how I met Todd. He asked a couple of other questions like what Todd does, how much money I make as a freelance writer. I had forgotten to sign my passport so I did that. Then I wrote my passport number and the dates on the small forms. I hadn’t done that before. Anyway, that was pretty much just making sure I had all the papers. Although he made me nervous I covered it by getting chatty. Told him about the Yahoo Club here. He was interested. So we started talking about how much I know ahead and what I might be wrong about.

The main thing I was wrong about was the time it took. I said I would have the interview and be told to come back after 2:00 to pick up the visa. He said I would be out of there by 11:00 and I nearly was. 🙂

After giving him all the paperwork. The only other thing I hadn’t done was to get a copy of my long for birth certificate. He mentioned that a lot of people don’t bring the long form birth certificate and it was good that I had. He was quite nice once we got chatting a bit. Not quite so intimidating.

Then it was a wait for them to call my name. Not a very long wait. I watched other people ahead of me being called. But the order doesn’t stick to when you were up there with your number. Some people who had a number ahead of me never got called for the interview by the time I left.

Not a very long wait and then my name was called for Room B. I went in and there was a tall guy in a white uniform shirt. He looked like Canada Customs but aren’t they supposed to be American? I guess they just have the same look. 🙂 He was very nice, as everyone seems to say. I yacked so much he hardly asked me anything after “How did you and Todd meet?” I told him about meeting Todd when we were penpals at 14 years of age. Then I went into our face to face encounters and the personal triumphs we have made together. He said I have had a good influence on Todd’s life and he was granting the visa. I said thank you and asked a couple of questions. I wanted to know about crossing the border, if there would be trouble after the bad time I had before. He said it should be no problem as I was now crossing with the visa. A whole different situation. Before I needed to show I was coming back, now I need to show I don’t plan on coming back.

I also asked about other places to get the green card. I had found a local SSN office and asked if we could do the green card there. He said no. They are different departments. But he said we didn’t need to go to Chicago. The green card department is federal and not by state. So you don’t have to go to an office in the same state you will be living in. This was great news as St Louis is 2 hours away and Chicago is five or more hours away. We might not even need to make an overnight trip. But, Todd read a site which says we do have to go to Chicago so we are not ahead in this question. 🙂 The immigration interviewer did tell me the best place to find out was when I crossed the border and talked to the Immigration people there. They could tell me where I need to get the card. So, thats the plan now.

There isn’t much left to tell now. After the interview he said it would be an hour for them to put the visa in my passport. I was called up in about 20 minutes. My passport was returned folded to the visa page with THE sealed envelope inside. There is a big note about not opening this. The lady at the counter also made sure I knew and that I checked the visa before I left. Being me I gave it a cursory look before smiling to my Mom and getting the heck out of there! lol

We went for a lunch at a Chinese buffet in a small town outside of Montreal. Actually, Montreal was nice this time. Usually we leave there fuming at Montrealers and french speaking people in general. This is the first time in a very long time that we came away thinking well of Montreal and french speaking people in general.

Now the plan is to leave early on Saturday morning and cross the border at the Windsor tunnel. I’m nervous about that after my last experience there. This time I am hiding my diary somewhere. Likely I will keep it in my purse and just hang onto it if they want to check my purse. Its taken me to just this week to feel like writing in it again. 🙁

Anyway, things with the visa were ok. My picture in the visa is another thing altogether. lol

Good night and Todd said to tell you all he is a good guy, a hard worker and a loyal companion. Of course, he is all those things and more. Why else would I leave everything and everyone I care about pack up some furniture, books and etc and live down there in the last country I ever thought I would be living in. 😉

Read more of these old posts – Our Adventures with the Fiancé Visa (2000 – 2002)

Night Before Rant Part 2

Night Before Rant Part 2
12/4/00 2:23 am

*sigh* If I can just live through this week I will be officially married next week. One week from now I will be on the other side of the border trying to force, coerce and whatever else it takes to get Todd to go to the doctors for a check up. Really, its only fair. He doesnt want to go and is trying to put it off till after the honeymoon. Meanwhile I have been governmentally inspected, physically and personally. Its his turn, dammit! 🙂

(A great deal of personal rant editted out.)

I’d love to hear about where there were any problems crossing the border. I can not stand the thought of another of those people reading my personal and private diary again. The fact that he used trickery to steal it and photocopy it and use it against me still just makes me want to reach out and slap him. Somehow I don’t think I will be all calm and collected at the border crossing. 🙂

I will post how things went for both next week when I only have wedding madness to contend with. Todd and I plan to be married on the 14th of December. My brother is driving me down the evening of the day I get back from Montreal. Currently they have decided not to bring down my stuff which is just making me insane. Well, more insane.

I’ve thought about making a K-1 page but I can tell it will have to wait till I am sane again. Or at least when they decide its safe to let me out of the insanitorium. Besides I would be far too cynical and down and dirty bitchy about the whole thing. I think it will take me a few months to adapt and realize I’m allowed (expected) to live a normal life again.

I do have one small piece of advice for anyone just starting out. Don’t give up your day job!!! As much as you possibly can keep your life normal and plodding along as if you werent getting married and cutting through paperwork with a blunt paperclip. If I had found something part time and not left nearly everything I own down there with Todd I would be much saner now. Having everything on hold for eight months is what is really making this so unbelivably frustrating for me.

Well, nearly over now. Its just after 2:00am on December, 4th. I have the interview on December 6th at 8:30 am. At the very least I will be glad not to have the nightmare where I lose all my hair and teeth (gruesomely) from stress. I look much nicer without the bloody stumps and tufts of hair. 🙁

End of rant. I need to get a shower and cook myself until I start to feel sleepy.

Night all.

Read more of these old posts – Our Adventures with the Fiancé Visa (2000 – 2002)