Marriage License by Norman Rockwell
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Sunday, October 30, 2005

A little decorating

Current Mood:

Last week one of our corporate employees had moved on to pursue another career and I was told I could use his office. I've moved all my things into the new office, but I noticed as I was cleaning it up that the place needed a woman's touch :-). So today Steve and I bought a lamp and a silk floral centerpiece :-).

I think they'll look lovely in the office :-).

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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Our first cool pumpkins

Current Mood:

Steve and I made our first cool Halloween pumpkins this year :-). By "cool" I mean not your typical jack o'lantern face design :-). I did a search for pumpkin stencils so we could try out other things this year :-).

Here's what the pumpkins look like in normal light:

And here's what the pumpkins look like with the candle in them lit :-):

Pretty neat, huh :-)?

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Pretty new mantel picture

Current Mood:

We have a new Asian print over the mantel now to match the samurai sword and Asian candlestick holders :-). It's Katsushika Hokusai's The Great Wave Off Kanagawa. Here's a description of the print:

"This is a seascape with Mt. Fuji. The waves form a frame through which we see Mt. Fuji. Hokusai loved to depict water in motion: the foam of the wave is breaking into claws which grasp for the fishermen. The large wave forms a massive yin to the yang of empty space under it. The impending crash of water brings tension into the painting. In the foreground, a small peaked wave forms a miniature Mt. Fuji, which is reflected hundreds of miles away in the enormous Mt. Fuji, which shrinks through perspective; the wavelet is larger than the mountain. Instead of shoguns and nobility, we see tiny fishermen huddled into their sleek crafts; they slide down a seamount and dive straight into the wave to make it to the other side. The yin violence of Nature is dismissed by the yang relaxed confidence of expert fishermen. Oddly, though it's a sea storm, the sun is shining." (

It looks great over the mantel. And Steve did a WONDERFUL job with the frame :-). He made it himself--cut the wood, painted it, put it together :-). It works with the print very nicely :-).

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

One requirement down...

Current Mood:

I wanted to get started on the INS requirements so I went and got my medical exam done yesterday. I couldn't go to just any clinic, it had to be an INS-approved clinic. The medical exam included:
  • a physical exam
  • TB skin test
  • Blood test
  • Vaccinations
Steve and I got to the clinic at around 4. We signed in and waited. And waited. And waited. It was finally my turn at 6. The exam itself was only about half an hour. They also gave me a tetanus shot, and now my left arm's all sore.

I have to go back tomorrow because the TB skin test results need to be interpreted. If I get the all clear, I come back either Friday or Monday to get the final results. It's going to be in a sealed envelope which I'm not allowed to open.

How much did it cost, you ask? A whopping $225. And no, medical insurance doesn't cover it :-(. And just when we thought we could finally get a dining room set. I guess that'll have to wait a little longer.


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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Got the letter

Current Mood:

I got the INS letter yesterday. We were visiting Steve's mom and dad at the time. We were all kind of bummed after finding out what kind of evidence INS wanted.

In short, they pretty much wanted every supporting piece of document all over again. AND they want me to take another physical.

Why are they asking for all of it over again? Well, here's an excerpt:
The Form I-864/I-864A was submitted after six (6) months of its signature. Submit Form I-864/I-864A that is dated within six (6) months of its signing by the sponsor before a notray public or immigration officer.
In other words, by the time the government got to my papers, all the documentation had expired and they need fresh data. And we thought we were all done with the paperwork.

The document looked like a form letter that they give everybody. I said to Steve, "Well, if it's any consolation, it looks like I'm not the only one going through this." He replied, "No, that doesn't make me feel better. That makes me feel even more frustrated!"


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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Immigration Status

Current Mood:

Got an email update from INS today...

The following is the latest information on your case status

Application Type: I485 , Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status

Current Status: On October 19, 2005, we mailed a notice requesting additional evidence or information in this case. The notice explains in detail what additional material is needed. If you have questions about the notice, what is required, or if 14 days have passed and you have not received the notice, please call the National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283.

If you have questions or concerns about your application or the case status results listed above, or if you have not received a decision or advice from USCIS within the projected processing time frame*, please contact the National Customer Service Center.

National Customer Service Center (800) 375-5283.

*The projected processing time frame can be found on the receipt notice that you received from the USCIS.

*** Please do not respond to this e-mail message.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

Okay that just scares me. What do they need? And whatever it is they need, what if I don't have it?

I visited the California processing site for more information and I found this:
If you received a request for evidence and you responded more than 60 days ago and have not received a decision, please call our National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.

From the sound of THAT statement it appears that the request for evidence is one of the final steps. After you submit more evidence, you should get a decision within 60 days.

Oh it's going to KILL me waiting the two weeks to find out what they need. It could be something that makes total sense such as some sort of verification that says we're still married after all this time (it's been a year since we filed), or something that makes absolutely NO sense like the boarding pass of the Japan-Minneapolis St. Paul leg of my trip to the US (okay I'm exaggerating here, but sometimes I wonder if my paranoia truly is misplaced).

I guess we'll find out in two weeks.


Posted by Unknown | 5:36 AM | 0 Comments |
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Monday, October 17, 2005

Karma first-hand

Current Mood:

As most of you know, Steve and I live in a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment. This afternoon he and I needed to go to the bathroom at the same time.

Well, in all fairness, he WAS first. He was already making his way to the bathroom when I thought I'd be mean and try and push him out of the way so I could go first instead :-).

He pushed me back, jokingly of course, but neither of us realized that Jack had made his way behind me. Steve's gentle push was just enough for me to back into Jack, lose my balance and land face first into the kitchen wall :-).

The law of Karma: "As you sow, so shall you reap tenfold." :-)

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Sunday, October 16, 2005

This weekend went to the dogs :-)

Current Mood:

Steve, dad, mom and I went to the St. Jude Showcase of Dogs Saturday. It's a dog show where people from all over the country come and compete for charity.

We went last year and I fell in love with the Polish Tatras. These dogs reminded me of a dog breed I would like to own--a Great Pyrenees. You may be curious as to why I'd like to own such a dog. Well, when I was a kid, I used to watch this cartoon called Belle and Sebastian.

Belle was a Great Pyrenees who, because of her large size, was regarded as evil by local villagers and often blamed for mishaps. Sebastian was the only one who truly knew her.

I don't know what the difference is between the Polish Tatra and the Great Pyrenees, but they sure seem very similar.

It may not look like it in the pictures, but these dogs are huge. This dog's skull is about the size of mine. I'm not kidding when I say a small child can get on its back and ride it like a pony.

Steve and I also bought costumes for Jack and Katya. We had fun dressing them up when we came home :-). The doggies were such good sports :-).

Now Katya is an average-size dog. Steve and I are about the same height. Look at where her head is level. Now look back at the picture of me and the Tatra. That's how big the Tatra is compared to an average-size dog :-).

Posted by Unknown | 6:04 PM | 3 Comments |
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Saturday, October 15, 2005

This week's ikebana arrangement

Current Mood:

Naturally, with the samurai sword addition, I'm now in a Japanese mood :-). Here's this week's ikebana arrangement :-).


Posted by Unknown | 8:49 AM | 0 Comments |
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New mantel decor

Current Mood:

Steve ordered a samurai sword replica the other day. I noticed that the colors match the candleholders that Judy and John gave us for our anniversary. I said to Steve, "You know where that will look really nice? The fireplace mantel."

Steve agreed, and this is what our mantel looks like now :-).

The print above the sword is an Alphonse Mucha. I know, I know--it doesn't match, Oriental objects, European print :-). Steve has ordered a 60-inch Great Wave print that'll look really nice over the samurai sword :-).

Posted by Unknown | 8:08 AM | 0 Comments |
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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Blog Quizzes

Current Mood:

I'm such a sucker for these online test things :-)...


Nutty and gooey - you always satisfy.

You Are a Schoolgirl!

You're not quite as wild as a "kogyaru", but with your short plaid skirt and silly white socks, you're still a sexual fetish object.
You can usually be seen hanging out in the girly section of the video game places, collecting photobooth stickers of you and your friends. You may not be as innocent as you look. Did those vending machine panties once belong to you?


Posted by Unknown | 8:20 AM | 0 Comments |
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Saturday, October 08, 2005

Ooohhh yeah, that's the stuff :-)

Current Mood:

If you've read Steve's blog, you'll know that I decided to take advantage of the birthday gift his mom gave me: a gift certificate to the Germantown Day Spa.

I've never experienced a true professional massage and facial. Ohhh it felt good :-). The thing that made me fall asleep though was the facial. I was expecting it to be the massage, but I was too ticklish in some places to actually relax long enough to fall asleep :-). That hour-long facial was very relaxing :-). I never thought you could pamper someone's face so much. The aesthetician must've applied at least 5 different things on my face: two different cleansers, an exfoliator, steam, the mask, astringent, things like that. As my face was getting a steam treatment, she massaged my hands and arms. Then she left me alone for a while to relax while the mask dried. That's when I fell asleep. I actually woke myself up because I was snoring :-).

Mom, if you're reading this, thank you SO much for that gift certificate. It really did help me get over the busy week I had :-).

When he came to pick me up, Steve said that I looked pinker and more relaxed :-). He also had one of the spa's brochures and one of the services they offered was very interesting: the Couples' Massage.

Couples Massage (1 hr): Two can enjoy having a professional massage together. You can customize your massage to benefit your needs.

He and I are going to save up for that :-). I think it'll be pretty cool to have a massage and chat together at the same time :-). I hope they have a room where there are two beds :-).

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Maybe next time

Current Mood:

I was looking forward to watching the next event at the Memphis Symphony Orchestra:

You get to watch classic Bugs Bunny cartoons on the big screen while the orchestra played the score. You know, things like "Kill the Wabbit" to the tune of Ride of the Valkyries, things like that.

Steve and I were thinking of going, but I don't think we'll be able to afford it this time around. Oh well, maybe next time :-).


Posted by Unknown | 8:28 AM | 0 Comments |
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It's COLD out there...!

Current Mood:

BRRRR...! It's 51 degrees out there right now. That's 11 C. The high for today is going to be just 67 (which is 19 C).

It's cold, but I sort of like it :-). I opened up the windows and the balcony door so we'd have crisp, fresh fall air circulating in the apartment :-). The neat thing about it is that there are pine trees all over the neighborhood so when I opened the windows and door, you could smell pine in the air. It smells and feels like Christmas :-).

Posted by Unknown | 6:57 AM | 0 Comments |
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A day off

Current Mood:

Last week was crazy for me, work-wise. Developed training, taught the training, certified 20 people out of that training. It doesn't sound like much writing about it, but there were also sudden schedule changes involved that added to the anxiety.

Steve (and other people at the office) said I should take a day off. I guess if that many people said the same thing without my mentioning anything to them, I must have really looked wiped out. So I took their advice and took today off. I have a three-day weekend this week :-).

Posted by Unknown | 5:30 AM | 0 Comments |
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