Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Job Hunt

LinkedIn really pulled ahead here. This will almost read as an add for them, and I will say I liked the program before this.

I was updating my LinkedIn profile because it always seems like a good thing to do before starting a job hunt. They kept insisting that I try Job Seeker Premium. Well, heck, if the first month is free, I might as well try it for a month. I enter in all my information and thus starts my official job hunt.

LinkedIn recommends several jobs, and I read through the first through. A couple sound like they would be really great and I'm genuinely interested. I click the amazingly beautiful "Apply through LinkedIn" button, attach a condensed, PDF of my resume, and hit send. The easiest application of my life. Then for good measures, I keep clicking through recommendations and apply to all of the ones with the same easy button.

Feeling motivated, I go back to the first couple I actually read up on and send a personal letter to the recruiters. Then I google the companies and my interest only increases.

I've now done waaayy too much work for one day and call it quits.

THE VERY NEXT DAY I get an email from one of the first couple of places I applied to! They would like to schedule a phone interview! Heck yeah!

The company is one45 and they develop software for medical schools. The following interview process then ensues:
  • A rather quick (maybe 30 minute) phone interview.
  • A 3 hour tech test. I get to complete it at home using any references I would like. It's three questions, covering SQL, OOP, and recursion (think - databases and tables, object-oriented programming, and never ending mirrors that line up so you see yourself in the mirror forever).
  • A 3 hour on-site interview.
  • A 2 hour on-site interview.
  • Reference checks with 3 references.
I got the job offer!!! It's very exciting! It was a long process, but the company is amazing and it's a great opportunity, so well worth it! Their offices are a 10-minute MAX walk from the apartment, which is perfect! I'll start on September 15th, so I still have a couple of weeks to fart around with Loki and Amelia! 

Quick comparison

I recently found out that I need to obtain a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to be paid in Canada. No one tells you this when you fill out your work permit application. I found it buried deep down in a Yahoo! Answers page when I asked about how on earth I wasn't able to download a work permit application form (more on that fun story here). 

The Social Insurance Number is the Canadian Social Security Number.

Great. I have just danced a lovely dance with such a government agency once this summer. The Social Security office was my least favorite of all the offices.

So I prep. I know what documents I need, I know where the office is, I know what time it opens, and I am ready.

Max kindly agrees to go with me at 8 am for moral support.

We arrive at the office to find no line. There are about 6 people sitting in the lobby, but no one is standing in a line, no one is talking, no one smells unnecessarily, no one even looks the slightest bit unhappy.

What is this place.

We walk up to the front desk and I hand over my paperwork, I get entered into the queue (because it's queues here, not lines) and we go sit down. 

Not even 20 minutes later, I'm called back to a desk. I once again present all of my paperwork and the nice gentleman tries too hard to converse and joke with us at 8:30 in the morning (remember, we're still unemployed and out of school -> 8:30 am is about 3 hours before when our day usually starts).

Next thing I know I'm handed a sheet of paper with my new SIN on it.

There were no numbers, no security guards, no lines, no bullet proof glass windows. Just friendliness and a clean environment. 

You go, Canada.

FINALLY got my work permit

When we first moved up to Vancouver, we went through the Peace Arch (super cool place, don't let the horrible .gov website make you think any differently) and tried to get the study permit for Max and the work permit for me. That didn't go as planned, but they were very nice about it and assured us that when we reentered after the wedding Max would get his permit and I'd be able to get mine as long as we had our marriage license, proof of funds, proof of Max's acceptance, and proof of his school program being paid for. They told us it would be fine. That we would both be able to get our permits. Even if I didn't have a job offer yet. That things would be fine.


Then we flew back in.

Things were certainly not fine.

I went online to try to apply for a work permit. I successfully went through the process to BE APPROVED TO APPLY MY REQUEST to get a work permit. Quite seriously. They ask you a series of questions and then tell you that you might be eligible for X or Y type of work permit. Then the program sets up an account with the required paperwork for the application for the permit. I had to upload copies of several documents and download one they provided, fill it out, and reattach it. This is fine. I'm very capable of all of these things. I clicked to download the form.

IT WASN'T THERE. A full Adobe PDF downloaded and opened. Across the top of the document were the following two statements: "This form requires the latest version of Adobe Reader. Try downloading the latest version here." It just said "here." Like it could be a real link you could click. But it was a PDF. It was a whole PDF.

I thought maybe, just maybe, this actually was on my end. I downloaded and installed the latest version of Adobe Reader. I got the exact same form. I tried to download it on my phone. On Max's laptop. On my tablet. On Max's old MacBook. I then uninstalled Adobe Reader and installed a slightly older version, but one which they explicitly listed on a help session page. Every single time I got the PDF telling me to download Reader.

I figured I could email someone and let them know that the wrong form was out there. I wound my way through the contact us center to find the exact page for the problem I was having. If I had already submitted my application, they provided an email address I could contact. Otherwise, if I was still working on my application, I should navigate to my home page and click on the "Tell Us" link in the upper right hand corner. THERE IS NO SUCH LINK.

I am now frustrated beyond belief.

Meanwhile, I've been applying for jobs. Because I need a job.

I've had an excellent interview with a company I really like, and they ask what my work permit status is. I check online one more time to see if the form issue is fixed. 

It's not.

Of course.

I start to cry from frustration. 

Max asks what's wrong. We need to drive to the border. NOW. He grabs his keys and we head down to the parking garage.

The line at the border wasn't awful. We would have gone to a crossing with a shorter wait time, but I was worried about the ability of other facilities to file the proper paperwork. The guard at the US entry wasn't that bad. He asked a TON of questions. He was right in line with the personal inquisition of the DMV workers we encountered a few weeks back. Something about the States, man. 

We headed down to Blaine for dinner. This might be the cutest city in the whole of the United States of America.

In case you couldn't read it in that first picture:


I just can't. It was too cute. We had pizza (well, Max had a calzone) at the local pizza place on the main street in town. It was picture perfect. I didn't want to leave.

We drove the 5 minutes to get in line to enter Canada. The line was just as exhausting and never ending as the line to enter the US.

We then encountered one of the most intimidating and accusatory people I have ever met.

Max handed him our passports and he asked where we lived. Max tried to answer.


"Vancouver, Canada? Vancouver, Washington? I don't know which one you're talking about."

"Canada, sorry."

"Why were you in the States?"

"We just got dinner."



"How do you two know each other?"

** My passport already has Burgess as my last name...

"We're married."

"What are you doing in Canada"

"I'm here for school, we're hoping to get her work permit now."

"When did you enter Canada last?"

Max - "A couple of-"

"I was asking her."

Cathy - "August 5th, after our wedding."

"Ok, where was the wedding, when was the wedding. I don't know what wedding you're talking about. I don't know where you were or whose wedding it was or what you were doing."

"Ok, sorry."

"No, it's fine, I just need to know the information."

"Ok. It was our wedding on Saturday, August 2nd, in Dallas, TX."

"Ok. Do you have anything to declare."

** It's important to note here that there is nothing else in our car. The back is empty, there's nothing in the back seats. I have my purse on the floor in front of me.

"Nope, nothing."

"No weapons, no food, no animals, no drugs? You didn't pick up anything when you were down South?"

** We had just been in Blaine for maybe an hour to have dinner....

"No, nothing at all."

"Alright, pull ahead and hand this form to the officer."

OH MY GOSH. That was by far our worst customs/border experience! Even the lady we dealt with when we forgot to declare the cats was nicer! The worst was really just the accusatory tone he had at all times and way he kept jumping on our answers!

I am now terrified that I'll just be deported and won't see Max or the cats again for a year. Shaking in my boots. Ready to pass out.

We park and head inside, go stand in the proper line and wait to be called to the front.

The nicest young lady comes up and calls us over. We hand her Max's passport with his study permit, my passport, and our marriage certificate, explaining that I'd like to apply for a work permit. She has the softest, friendliest voice I have heard in my entire life.

"Oh you JUST got married?!"


"Well congratulations! Alright have a seat."

I'm visibly sweating at this point.

Max tries to calm me down and we joke about the Border Security show I've taken to, saying we should have been at least 5 episodes by now (I'm honestly going to do an entire post on that show, because it's hilarious!). 

I see her walk over to the printer and finally I start to feel hopeful and relieved. She calls us back up to the counter.

And just hands me my passport with a work permit printed and stapled in it!!!!! WHAAAATTT!!!?!?! So exciting!

So now I can work in Canada. Theoretically.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


I attended Vancouver Film School's special brand of orientation on August 27th, exactly one week before class starts. It started at 10 in the morning, which was super friendly for a non-morning person like myself, and supposedly ended at 11; pretty short for an orientation. Orientation at the University of Tulsa (abbreviated TU because of reasons), where I got my bachelor degree, is a full week long, jam packed with stuff you're not required (read required) to attend. Of course I did none of it, because I was shackled to a band scholarship that required rehearsals all that week, but I hear it was pretty painful anyways. Regardless, I was pretty skeptical of their timeline.

So I guess I should've expected something different from an art school, but holy interplanetary yardstick, Batman! (or pick your favorite) it was so different. It started with all 300 something students across all disciplines gathering in an auditorium which I don't think was actually on any of VFS's many campuses. Once there, the lights dimmed, and a man introduced himself as Bill Marchant, an actor and instructor at VFS. He described some of the highlights of the school, using the phrase "best in the world" a lot, which received a lot of applause as the crowd felt more and more validated in paying this school tens of thousands of dollars in tuition. "Mom, it's the best in the world." You could tell the crowd was full of actors, because they frequently shouted clever quips to add on to the presentation, and you could tell the presenter was an actor because he would frequently respond with EVEN CLEVERER QUIPS. As a man of many quips myself I still felt completely out of my league. These were the heavy-weight quippers. I have so much to learn.

The speaker then proceeded to say "this will be the most difficult, and most rewarding year of your life" about 60 times using various methods, including actually saying it, using a slideshow to say it, introducing the founder of the school to have him say it, and using at least 3 videos to say it, one of which was the classic "Past students give advice to new students", followed shortly by the "Instructors look away from the camera and say great things about their school" video. There was even a section devoted to the speaker telling his life story, which after many ups and downs eventually ended in "this will be the most difficult and rewarding year of your life." There were also plenty of snippets of student-made projects, edited together in epic fashion, and probably definitely scored by Hans Zimmer (You weren't there, you don't know).

And that was pretty much it! By the time the presentation was over I was convinced that I was in the wrong auditorium. Clearly this crowd were merely interested in the school, and had been invited to learn more. I had just witnessed their promotional presentation, and somewhere (probably actually on campus) were the actual new students getting told all about the year ahead of them and receiving the supplies they would need. Some clever scam artist disguised as VFS got me to pay them a bucket (not sure what the Canadian conversion is) of money, and then directed me to the actual VFS information session to keep up the ruse. 

VFS could've sent me a postcard that said "This will be the most difficult and rewarding year of your life. Also we have a student cafe that's pretty cool," and it would have easily replaced their orientation. 

But god dammit if I wasn't totally entertained. Despite, the very little information actually imparted unto me, the hour went by so quickly. The videos were interesting and well made, and the presenter was surprisingly funny and engaging, and it was only an hour long, which is roughly 120 times shorter than orientation at TU. I really felt like the school as a whole was on the same page as me. "We don't need to rush this thing, let's start at 10 so we can all sleep in." "Ice breakers? Good god no, you're adults, you can introduce yourselves." "What in the world could we possibly have to orientate for an entire week? Screw that, let's go with maaaaaaaybe an hour." "Quips? We have quips for DAYS."

For me orientation was proof that I'm in the right place. That I can not only belong, but thrive here. I also learned something about this year being difficult or rewarding or something. I don't remember which but it didn't seem important. Also there's a student cafe that's pretty cool.

I'm so excited to show up next week and either start classes or call my wife in tears to let her know I was scammed out of approximately a bucket full of cash. But at least it was worth it for the quips.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Customs and Immigration: Round 4

Alright ladies and gents. We're old hat at this now. We've done it three times already, and this time we don't have a U-Haul or any cats. This should be a breeze.

DFW still has no Canadian customs forms. I just do not understand how that keeps happening. Oh well. We were prepared this time and made sure we grabbed one before getting in the line to talk to a customs agent. We even had pens at hand to fill it out! Many an inexperienced traveler around us were inquiring about forms as they approached the agents. Not us! Oh no! We were prepared!

We actually went through customs pretty successfully. We told them that we had funds, Max's acceptance letter, our marriage license, and a place to live. They quickly shuffled us toward immigration to fill out our paperwork. 

We had to collect all of our luggage before entering the immigration office. But, you couldn't bring the cart with all of your luggage into the office. You had to be very trusting and leave it in a big hoard outside near the general population. This was not an easy thing for me. We had a lot of precious gifts and valuable items in our suitcases! Who would be watching them while we waited in more long lines to fill out our paperwork!?!!!? 

Once we made it to the front of the line, we presented our papers and requests to the immigration agent. He quickly took everything to ask another agent a question. Once he came back to our window, he informed us that a study permit does not automatically grant a spousal work permit. What? WHAT?! The agents at the land border informed us we would have no problems getting my work permit once we had our marriage license! This is ridiculous!

So much for smooth sailing.

He told me that I might be eligible for an open work permit, but that my best shot was probably through a company filing for me. Great. That takes me back to square one on the job hunt. 

Welp. It's not like we can start a fight with the immigration agent. 

You win this round, immigration.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Target :(


First, read the post about Bed, Bath & Beyond. Because that was an amazing experience. You need the full comprehension of what went down there to appreciate what I'm about to tell you.

Did you read it? Really, you can't proceed otherwise. There is vital information I'm not repeating here.

You promise?

Then let's continue.

We went to Target today to get the things off of our registry. 

And a few groceries.

And a couple of things that weren't on our registry.

We make it to the checkout line and everything is scanned. I pull out our gift cards. Then I hear it.

"Oh, we don't accept States gift cards. Our systems are different."


This is a thing that doesn't make sense. You're Target. They're Target. You even have a Starbucks inside. How? What is happening? But we have gift cards?


I still don't know what happened.

Vancouver news

There are things in this major metropolitan area that still boggle me.

I was watching the news tonight when a very interesting story came on.

Several of the lakes around here have recently had something happen to them, so they are not up to drinking levels. 

Yea, don't ye fear, the government is working on it. A few of these lakes are now back up to acceptable qualities! All the others are still a work in progress, but will be back soon.

Do you know what this means? Do you understand what they are saying?



This is one of the largest cities in Canada.


Changed my name in a day

I knew I had to get all the paperwork done before we went back to Canada. I carved out an entire day to make it to all the agencies.

The first order of business was to file the marriage license. I would need that at all the other locations.

Max and I learned something new that day. The clientele at the county clerk's office can vary drastically. We showed up around 11 am to request our marriage license. There were screaming children, long lines, tired employees, and couples of all ages and makeup. We arrived at 8:05 am when we were filing. No children, no lines, only 20-something business couples there exactly 30 days prior to their wedding date. Woah it was different. Thankfully, it meant it only took us 10 minutes to file our license! That was a pretty sweet deal!

From there we went to the social security office. The place opened at 9 am, so we were in line before the doors opened. It didn't take us too long to get up to a window, maybe 30 minutes. Here's where things started getting frustrating.

I had already printed and completed the form to apply for a new card with a changed name. The form had a location for a mailing address. It asks for the country. I assumed this meant that you could enter a country other than the US and have your card shipped to you.

The cranky lady at the counter informed me this was not the case. I had to provide a US address. Which is fine, I can use my parents address. But it meant I had to verbally provide the address. I was not given a chance to confirm the information. The address the card is shipping to is Lavendare, while my parents live on Lavendale. 

I asked an officer (yes, actual police officer, sent there to guard the crazies) if I had to get back in line to request a change. Yes. I would have to take another ticket. The current waiting time was over an hour. Oh. No. No no no. We'll just hope it still winds up at my parents' house. If not, I'll try again at Christmas.

It occurred to me that I might be able to call and have the information changed on a form somewhere. I dialed the number, waded through all of the select-an-options, and was told by a machine that there were currently no operators available to assist me, then was disconnected. I'm done with you, social security office. Done.

We drove through Chick-Fil-A for lunch, then set off toward the DMV. Garland has a new mega-center, and they recommend that you call ahead to get in line. The first time I called, I got a very choppy machine which I couldn't understand. The fifth time I called, I was finally able to understand the machine, only, this time, their system wasn't processing any of my selections. No matter how many times I pressed '2' for get in line, the machine kept repeating the entire list of options to me. Fine. It was still only 10:30 am, so the line shouldn't be too awful.

Once I got in line, I had a 42 minute wait. Not awful. Max had finished eating his Chick-Fil-A and made it inside. I mentioned that he still hadn't gotten his license replaced since his parents moved. He went back to the entrance to get in line for a license. His wait was 30 minutes behind mine. That's alright, we've got the time. 

The new mega-center is really nice. It's clean, it's large, they are very efficient. However, the place is freezing. It's seriously just insanely cold! Max was even cold! That never happens!!!

The time passed fairly quickly. The folks working there get way too personal way too quickly. The gal who helped me told us all about her daughter's wedding and asked about Canada and it was more interaction than I'd ever desired to have with a DMV employee. 

Then it was another 30 minutes before we were called for Max's new license. This gal was a little less chatty, but still asking the tough questions. It didn't help that we were hitting a real low energy point.

We'd had a long weekend!!! We'd been busy!!! And now we're sleepy! Leave us alone!

We made it out of there right around 1 pm. I had an appointment at the passport office for 2, but we figured they could let us in early.

Wrong. Of Course. As with everything else so far that day.

The passport office is in the courthouse downtown. We went through security and up the bank of elevators for floors 9 to 15. There's only 15 floors. I really don't understand why they had two banks. Whatever.

We walk in the office and the officer (again... officers...) asks if we have an appointment. It was 1:30 pm by the time we'd made it there, but he informed us we would have to come back at 1:45 pm for our 2:00 pm appointment. I asked if we could just sit on some of their chairs. No. But, there's a cafeteria on the 6th floor that we could go sit in. If we took the elevator down to 9,  which is the floor that connects to the other elevator bank, then take the other bank of elevators down to the 6th floor. 

I just.

Can't we.


No. To the 6th floor we went. I was thirsty. There were vending machines. The one that only dispensed water was out of order. The one that had one spot for water was out of water. :( I just want to be done.

So all of 5 minutes later we went back up to the 11th floor via the 9th floor. Ridiculous. 

Then we learned about the process. The officer let us in this time. We proceeded to the check out counter. She wants to see all of your paperwork. She does not verify that any of your paperwork is correct, necessary, or all present. She does however check your application form. This fabulous government agency also asks you which country they should mail things to. So, in another desperate attempt, I put in our Canada address. Friendly little check in gal tells me I have to put a States address. I insist that "Country (if not the US) should not be on the freaking paper work. She informs me that I'm "not wrong." Thanks. I was incredibly worried that I was wrong about this fact.

She paperclips it all together and gives you a number. Then you sit and wait for your number.

Since handy dandy check in lady doesn't actually look at the documents you hand to her, folks can spend 30 minutes at the next window. Or they can spend 2 minutes there if the kind citizen bothered to check online and verify the required documents. But, you know, to each their own.

45 minutes later our number was called. Thank goodness. We approached the counter. The employees sit behind BULLET PROOF GLASS. WHAT HAPPENS HERE?!!!? WHAT?!!!! 

I pass through all of my documents. Since I knew what I needed and had everything in order, it took all of 2 minutes for her to put all of my information into the computer. 


NOW we have to wait "no more than an hour" for them to print the new passport.

But, it's already 2:38 and even if we're just using the bathroom out in the hall, the doors lock at 3 and we will not be allowed back in.

Working hard here in this government agency.

Exactly 59 minutes later my passport is ready. The office has emptied and there are only 3 of us left. 

But now we're done.

And my name is officially Catherine Ann Burgess.

So that's pretty great.

Bed, Bath & Too Much Beyond

We were blessed to receive many gifts over the course of our engagement and wedding. This blessing posed a problem.

How to get everything back to Vancouver?

We didn't have our address when we registered, and later, Bed, Bath & Beyond wouldn't let us put in a Canadian address. This meant all gifts, big and small, went to my parents' house in Texas.

We didn't even have enough luggage, much less enough money to pay for the checked bags, to get everything home with us when we flew. 

Max's mom suggested a plan: Return everything in Dallas and repurchase in Vancouver.

This seemed like a great idea! 

I, however, wanted to double check with BBB up in Vancouver to make sure this plan would work. Max insisted that it would be fine but courteously agreed to make the 30 minute trek with me to the store in North Vancouver just to ask them if they thought this was the way to go. After wrong turns and tons of traffic, we finally made it. The fabulously friendly folks at the registry counter assured us that everything would run smoothly within the first two minutes of our being there. It was nuts. I could feel the "I told you so" burning into my skull. Oh well. At least we know it will work and now we have a plan in place.

Lots of place settings and guest towels later, we were back in Vancouver with our merchandise return cards (essentially cash for BBB) and gift cards. We arrived at the store around 1 pm. We went straight back to the wedding registry section to get a printed copy of our registry so we would know what they had in the store. 

Now, I wouldn't say that I've ever had a negative interaction with BBB employees, but the folks at the North Vancouver location were above and beyond in the friendliness and helpfulness departments. It was overwhelming at times. They also had what I found to be a remarkably high number of employees working at 1 pm on a regular old Wednesday afternoon... 

We were surrounded. Two nice ladies helped us print the registry and get us started. They then made a store-wide radio announcement that we were in the building, so all the employees would be on the lookout for us to offer their utmost assistance.

This was getting really real.

We found all 6 of our red place settings, but they didn't have enough of our green so we ordered all 6 of those. Since we chose all of our serving pieces in the gorgeous chocolate color, but this location wasn't carrying any of the chocolate, all of them were ordered. They also didn't have our silverware, so that's ordered. They had a different brand of serving utensils, but they were still excellent quality, so we grabbed those instead of the ones we had registered for. We found towels and sheets and KitchenAid Stand Mixer accessories galore. The actual mixer had to be ordered since they didn't have the yellow we wanted. 

We sprung for a new counter top grill! It has removable grill platters that are dishwasher safe (YES!!!!!!) and they reverse to be a griddle. It also opens flat so both the top and bottom panels can be used for cooking. That's one of our favorite new buys. 

We couldn't go home without getting something for the kittens, so we got them a cool new toy. It required 3 C batteries. What?! What needs C batteries? And 3?! That's such an awkward number of batteries. They only come in even packaging!! Why would you ruin everything and request that I provide you with an odd number of batteries?!!?!! WHY?!?!! We also don't currently have any C batteries... We're working on it...

We filled a couple of carts. Every time we were just starting to think that we should find a new one, a helpful employee was there with a brand new cart, offering to take our full one up to the front for when we check out. Unbelievable! It was a great adventure!

We wound up with some things off of my "As Seen On TV" list!! XD We got a sticky buddy and a scrub daddy! They're both pretty great, and Max is an incredible guy who loves all the quirky parts about me.

Nicole was the gal on the wedding registry end who was helping us throughout the day. She was looking up items to see if they had them in a local warehouse. She suggested cool items she thought we might like. She was the best. Then she brought us to Elise to check out. She brought us to Elise because she was also the best. These are just the facts.

The thing you need to know now is that two of my best girls are named Nicole and Elise. They're sisters who I've known since we were in preschool!! I found it just absolutely hilarious that we wound up with a Nicole and Elise to walk us through the checkout process.

One of our amazing guests gifted us a 20% off your entire purchase coupon. This blew Elise away. Lots of things, that day, blew Elise away. She had this adorable gasp that we heard again and again as we went through the check out process.

The first thing that happened was the order purchase of the items they didn't have in the store. Nicole had compiled the list and printed a sheet with all the bar-codes listed on it. Elise appreciated this, but still gasped at the sight of it. She scanned all of them in and we used the first merchandise credit card on that order. Then I brought up the 20% off coupon (I was under the incorrect assumption that the order from the warehouse and the checkout of items in the store were two different purchases, meaning we could only use the coupon on one of them). Elise gasped her adorable gasp and Nicole excitedly informed her that it's a new coupon BBB is offering. They quickly decided that it would apply to everything we ordered/bought that day. Poor Elise now had to re-scan all the items to do a return, apply the discount, and then scan all of them once more! There were many gasps.

Then we started in on the items we had in our three carts. The four of us now worked as an assembly team! Max removed items from the carts and handed them to me, I found the bar code on each item and presented them to Elise, Elise scanned them and handed them to Nicole, Nicole bagged all the items and put them back in the carts. We were very well oiled! 

As we moved through our merchandise credit and our gift cards, Elise began to tell us she was really going to miss the time we spent together. We said our goodbyes as we hauled the carts over to the elevator. After we got it all into the back of the car, we remembered the car-elevator-hallway-apartment process through which all things must enter our home... 

It only took us 5 trips. Not bad.