Wednesday, April 11, 2007

the new phonebooks are here, the new phonebooks are here!

I'm exaggerating a bit there, nothing quite as exciting as new phonebooks (be still my pounding heart), but we did get our passports today.

After poor Just A Cool Cat's nasty shock of opening his envelope from the passport office, whilst quipping "funny, I don't see any passports in here", only to discover that there really were no passports in the envelope, I wasn't entirely convinced that we were actually going to receive them after all. I rather expected that I would get mine, because I knew I had done everything correctly. There are advantages to being a detail-oriented, slightly OCD passport applicant.

I was slightly less sure about Eva's application. It was all filled in correctly, naturally, having been completed by same detail-oriented slightly OCD person, but the fact that she was 14 when we started the process and was now about to turn 16 (at which point one needs a different, adult passport) didn't bode well for the success of this effort. So I was pleasantly surprised to see Eva pull an official passport out of her envelope. And thankfully Eva has a far superior memory to me because she remembered that regardless of how close to 16 you are when you receive your passport, it's still good for the full 5 years. And I was all set to start working on the new one for her.

But Jerry's passport application I did not hold much hope for. He had to redo his 3 times, and get his guarantor to resign each time too, because first he didn't use block letters, then the next time it was too sloppy to read (passport application tip #1: leave the wine drinking alone until after you have filled in your application), and then finally he wrote into the forbidden area whilst signing, for which I believe you can receive up to 4 years in prison, if I'm not mistaken.

And then shortly after we sent our applications away, his guarantor changed jobs, making her contact information invalid. So I figured he was euchred. Especially after I heard about John Mutford's daughter having her application rejected for showing too much teeth, or our friend Robin having his photo rejected because his forehead was too shiny! (Honest and for true!)

Eva is getting a huge kick out of the handy booklet "Bon Voyage, But ..." which accompanied the passports. It's a classic example of the finest of Canadian government humour, and includes very helpful chapters on traveller's diarrhea, rabies, and travelling with a same sex spouse.

So we're sort of strutting around like big shots tonight. We got our passports nyah nyah!

And naturally we are currently rocking out to Passport [mp3] - Gogol Bordello.


668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

holy crap! i got my passport over a week ago. how long did yours take?

ps.. nice steve martin homage

mellowlee said...

YAY, congrats on the passports! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!

Still LMAO at " and then finally he wrote into the forbidden area whilst signing, for which I believe you can receive up to 4 years in prison, if I'm not mistaken."

Niiiiiiiiiice :O)

Allison said...

"I am gobsmacked by Canada's Next Top Cat Model"...???

Glad yours finally arrived!! Mel, totally stole my woot ;) I'm still waiting on my new passport, which is frustrating as I need to apply for a visa now. Paperwork, boo!

Karen said...

I should probably eventually send my application in I guess, considering how long it takes. It was suggested to me to fill out the application online which avoids the non-block letters and printing outside the little squares. I still have to sign inside the little box but it takes the hassel out of the rest.

JustRun said...

If I am thankful for nothing else I did in 2006, it's renewing my passport. If I'd waited until this year, I'd surely have lost my mind by now.
Glad it all worked out for you!

Anonymous said...

A reference to the Jerk and Bill Gates arrest photo, this is quite possibly my favorite blog post this week. Congratulations on your passies!

justacoolcat said...

I love The Jerk! It's one of the best movies ever.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on receiving your passports. Handy little thing- Mine has now gotten me into Hawaii and Jamaica, no questions asked. Start planning that trip now,sis. Many thanks for all the birthday wishes, Badtemperedzombie friends. Does anyone besides me and my daughter listen to Freestyle on CBC radio 1:00 p.m. Monday to Friday? I love Cameron and Marsha and now I hear the show ends tomorrow.

Danny Tagalog said...

HI - haven't been paying attention - where are you off - to some festival? Have fun!

Expect you won't come across the problems Professor Walter F. Murphy faced in the US - being prevented from flying for expressing free speech....

That's scandalous and people should recognise it, if it's true.

Anonymous said...

It takes about six weeks to get one in the US. One could pay a little extra money and receive it a bit sooner. Ours are good for ten years.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

We sent it in Feb 2, so about 9 weeks, 668. But we started the process (passport photos, guarantors)in March 2006, that's how disorganized we were. How long did yours take?

That is a mighty big WOOT, Mel! Thanks. Oh you just never know with these officials these days - any excuse to slap you in the hoosegow.

Oh yeah, Al, Canada's Next Top Cat Model - that just stemmed from another one of our silly conversations, this one about how our cat reminds us of Tyra Banks (she's fierce, but she smiles with her eyes).
How long ago did you send your passport in? And I assume you need your passport for the visa application? Yikes.

I tried to fill my in online, Karen, but there was some issue with compataibility and I couldn't (at least not on my computer). I hope that you are successful in that because it would be a lot simpler.

I think you deserved to take the rest of the year off after that, Justrun! You need to celebrate having the forethought to ensure the continuing intactness of your mind.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Woohoo! We get to possibly be someone's favourite in something! That quite possibly makes my day, Fearless.

You're back, Just A! Or your addiction led you to seek out an internetz cafe on the beach.

I don't get to hear Freestyle too often, Berni, but have always liked it. So now it's being replaced by Jian Ghomeshi's new show. You'll have to let me know if it's any good.
And yes, can't wait to test out those passports.

No special plans, sadly, Danny, just being prepared. Although if Coachella and Glastonbury weren't already sold out, I would be sorely tempted to go to those.
Wasn't Robert Fisk also prevented from entering the US last year on the basis of his opinions?

Good for 10 years and it only takes 6 weeks? You guys have it made, Leazwell. 9 weeks and only good for 5 years in Canada.

Malnurtured Snay said...


668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

it's only taking 3 1/2 weeks now, if your application is new (like mine). i took my photos and filled out all the paperwork in september but i didn't go to the office until recently.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thanks Mal Snay, I may actually have to go somewhere now to celebrate!

1 3 1/2 weeks isn't bad, 668! We sent ours in, rather than wait in line, so that could account for the longer wait.

Deb said...

"too much teeth & shiny foreheads", picky bastards, aren't they?

I laughed at the same prison reference as Mel...oh Barb, you've still got it.

People at work have been sharing passport horror stories too. It's a conspiracy to keep us all grounded and bored.

phlegmfatale said...

I LOVE Gogol Bordello!!! They are rollicking good fun!

Was it here or over on YouTube where I saw a clip of Chad VanGaalen that was broadcast at SXSW in Austin last month when he couldn't get into the USA??? Hold on a sec...

At the end he talks about not being able to get into the USA, and he says "Come to Canada - it's easier."

Anyway, sorry if you already linked this here - but I think I remember finding this on my own.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Deb, I think we can add passport horror stories to those topics that all Canadians talk about, perhaps not as high up as the weather, but it's on the list.

Aren't Gogol Bordello great? Was it you who saw them in concert, Phlgemfatale?
I did actually have that Chad VanGaalen clip up a while ago, but you could very well have found it independantly as well. I was a little disappointed that he didn't call anyone a douche hat in the video (as it was claimed that he called the border official), but he's right about it being easier to come here.

John Mutford said...

Congrats on the passports! Needless to say, we finally got ours. Though I did have to sacrifice a week's wages to fly to Ottawa early and pick them up in person- I'd still say it was worth it. San Diego was a blast!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Yay, John's back! So glad to hear that San Diego was great! I'm looking forward to some details.

I was wondering why the initial trip to Ottawa. At least you got some visiting and sight-seeing in.

Dale said...

I'm glad you got your 'ports but pissed I didn't get that booklet when I got my new one!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I would phone up the passport office immediately, Dale, and demand your copy of "Bon Vpyage, But.." as it is damned fine reading.