I Want to Miss My Kids, So Why…

I want to miss my students when they graduate and leave me before noon on Wednesday. So why are they acting like such jerks lately? This doesn’t make me miss them.

Operation Immigration: Timeline
* To make this easier to read I will use * for new info.

6/1/2009: Mailed AOS/EAD/AP to Chicago Lockbox
6/3/2009: USPS reports rec’d
6/9/2009: Green registered mail with return receipt postcard rec’d
6/10/2009: I-485 check cashed (with no readable receipt number on the back of the check!)
* 6/11/2009: I-130 check cashed (with no readable receipt number on the back of the check!)
* 6/12/2009: NOAs rec’d for petition (130), green card (485), employment authorization (765), and advance parole (131); we now have his A-number; rec’d date 6/3, notice date 6/8

(Not So) Fun and Operation Immigration: Cash Matters

Mark’s birthday: good.

Indigo Girls: good.

Wolf Trap venue: good.

Mark’s birthday at the Wolftrap venue for an Indigo Girls concert: good.

Mark’s birthday at the Wolftrap venue for an Indigo Girls concert in pouring rain and lightning: not so good.

First time I can remember leaving a concert early. Mark called it in, though.

Operation Immigration: Timeline
Mailed AOS/EAD/AP to Chicago Lockbox: 6/1/2009
USPS reports rec’d: 6/3/2009
Green registered mail with return receipt postcard rec’d: 6/9/2009
I-485 check cashed (with no receipt number on the back of the check!): 6/10/2009

Walks, Korean Mafia? Peach Muffins



Unknown Flower I

Unknown Flower II
(I love this one!)





Farmer and Pigs Statue


Korean Mafia?
(We are very curious about this place.)

I found a basic oatmeal muffin recipe calling for quick oats, which I bought by accident months ago. We had two peaches going bad, so I decided to chop them up and mix them in. So delicious. I ran out of baking cups and dumped the remaining batter on the parchment paper to make muffin tops. I think this recipe as originally written would be rather bland and boring, but with my changes they were sweetly flavored. Still not a muffin the way those cake-like “muffin” monstrosities are made now, but a good muffin.

Easy Oatmeal Muffins
1 C milk
1 C quick-cooking oats
1 egg
1/4 C vegetable oil (I used 1/4 C applesauce, instead)
1 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C white sugar (I decreased this to 2 T)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 small peaches, chopped up (my addition, no fruit was in original recipe)

Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C). Grease or line muffin cups (or just get the silicone ones).

In a small bowl mix oats and water. Let soak for 15 mins.

Beat together egg and oil, stir in oatmeal mixture. In another bowl, mix remaining dry ingredients together. Stir dry ingreds into wet ingreds until just combined. Fold in fruit. Spoon into cups and made for 20-25 mins until a toothpick inserted in the muffins comes out clean.

Clothing Matters

Memorial Day Parade

On Memorial Day, Good Man and I took a four mile walk which included stopping by the local Memorial Day parade. We had pizza and poked around at the crafts booths. It was nice. It’s 83 F but cloudy so the UV index was only 3, which meant it wasn’t terrible. We stood near the end of the parade (and only saw some of it) and I thought we were in a terrible spot because toward the end they were losing steam.Then I turned around and started taking pictures of them laughing and talking and being hosed off by a fireman with a fire hose. Those were more interesting photos.

Good Man was happy even though it was just a tiny little festival because it proved there are people in our city.

Now, the parade and festival were fine (even though I didn’t see a single sign that we were honoring fallen soldiers…) but I was rather shocked at what people were wearing. We were both wearing jeans and sneakers (because we walked there). He was wearing a polo shirt and I was wearing a plain, solid colored t-shirt.

In short, we were dressed casually but we were covered. And you couldn’t see our underwear.

Yet at least a quarter of the people around us were wearing shorts showing their underwear, or tank tops showing bras. And I don’t just mean straps—I mean the entire back of their bra, the band, showing. Heaven forbid we cover up our underwear when we’re (supposed to be) honoring dead soldiers!

My principal keeps sending out emails telling people that shoes should cover most of the foot. Yet I’m one of the few women walking around not showing off my toes, my instep, and the top of my foot all at the same time. (For the record, my shoes aren’t fancy. I mostly wear flat canvas shoes at work. I used to wear heels, but since I fractured that big toe and it was so slow to heal, I’ve switched. Still, these shoes are allowed.)

Another coworker of mine constantly wears sleeveless shirts which show off her bra straps.

A student of mine recently showed up to school wearing a PIMP belt buckle, large enough to knock someone out. Why he was wearing a belt I don’t know, because he hasn’t managed to keep his boxers from showing. They only don’t show if I send him to the office to get a string belt put on.

A third-grader showed up to school wearing a HOOTERS t-shirt last week. First, why was she allowed to leave the house wearing that? Second, why did her parents even get her a child-sized HOOTERS t-shirt?

Today Good Man and I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to update our registry. The clerk who helped us was wearing a store apron with a lacy halter under it (I think) and one of those just-thicker-than-tissues shirts over it. The shirt sleeves fell completely off of her shoulders, so you completely see the bra straps and the halter straps.

(I am not sure if the halter was actually a halter or part of her bra or if it was supposed to be a cami. Four straps were going on, but they were the exact same shade. Perhaps the same brand.)

But it gets better. Despite wearing a shirt (falling off her shoulders) and the store smock, I could see the top half (and I do mean half) of her bra cups, and the full sides of the cups.

And bless Good Man’s mother or previous girlfriends for training him so well, because he managed to not ogle her. I can not say the same of myself. It took all of my self-control not to ask her why she wasn’t wearing an actual shirt.

Why didn’t management send her home? I don’t get it. I don’t want to see your tits when I go to buy a coffee grinder!

Come on Kids. Moscow.

Well, today my students finally finished their state standardized tests. I taught them the five S’s:

South Carolina

(*We don’t only teach that slavery is the cause of the Civil War. But students have a hard time remembering which side had slaves. Next year I’ll add “States’ Rights.”)

And yet one student thinks that The Emancipation Proclamation marked the start of the Civil War.

If even one child answers something so stupidly, it doesn’t matter if my other fifteen students get it right. I feel like a poor teacher.

And yet… there’s Bad Kid. Bad Kid who studied on his own, who quizzed himself, who quizzed me, who pulled his Got-a-C-but-Should’ve-Been-a-D grade up to a good, solid, Real-Actual-Earned-B. I taught him something, didn’t I?

“Did you turn the air-con off?”

Good Man shrugged. “Yes.”

“Dammit, that’s why it’s so hot in here.”

“It was so cold! I woke up and felt like I was in Moscow,” Good Man protested.

“I set it to 75!” I searched on the computer, “That’s nearly 24 C!”

“Well, you know, Moscow is warmer now because of global warming.”

I shook my head. “You’re nuts! It’s 78 in the house! 이십오점오도야!”

“You are like frog,” Good Man said. “I am like human.” He started laughing to himself. “You are like Minnesota Frog Princess! From lake!”

“Which lake? We’ve got 10,000 of them in Minnesota.”

“Minnesota Lake!”

View Larger Map
(Oh, and for the record, my favorite Lake of the Woods lake names? This Man’s Lake, That Man’s Lake, Other Man’s Lake, No Man’s Lake.)

Operation Immigration: Timeline

Mailed AOS/EAD/AP to Chicago Lockbox: 6/1/2009
USPS reports rec’d: 6/3/2009


Good Man glared at an animal. “Why are there so many squirrels in America?”

“Why do you say that?” I asked, “And perfect, by the way!” Months ago, squirrel was “squillel.”

“They are like 비둘기!”


“Um, pigeon? They are like those!”

I laughed, “Why?”

Good Man said very indignantly, “They eat junk! And they’re chubby!”

He sounded so angry about these chubby, junk-eating squirrels. I couldn’t stop laughing.

He continued, “When I came to America, I thought, ‘Wow, this is like heaven! Look at all this grass and all these trees!’ And then I saw those squirrels! And they were climbing around a trash can! And they are like 비둘기. In Korea those birds eat trash and they get so fat they can’t even fly! We don’t even call them 비둘기. We call them 닭둘기—chicken-bird, because they are like chickens!”

At this point I had actually stopped in the middle of the sidewalk because I was doubled over with laughter.

“Yeah,” Good Man growled, “we should call them chicken-irrel!”

Where Are the Women and Food

In all of the years I’ve practiced taekwondo, I’ve been the minority in class as a female (excepting the classes at my community college; they were advertised as “self-defense” and mostly made up of women).

At this studio there are a few other women. When I joined last year, it was rare that I was the only woman in class. But in the past three or four months, it’s been rare that I’m not the only woman in class. Where are the other women?


I just finished reading Fast Food Nation. I don’t know that I can eat fast food again.

Let the Waiting Begin: Day One

Enclosed please find form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and the supporting documents. The petition is filed by Amanda, a USC on behalf of Good Man, a citizen of Republic of Korea, whose eligibility is based on marriage to Amanda. Their marriage took place on 03/06/2009.

Concurrently with this I-130, Good Man and Amanda have filed form I-485 and all the supporting documents.

Contents of I-130 and supporting documents
1. Filing fee for I-130 to USCIS: $355 as check
2. I-130 petition filed by Amanda, petitioner on behalf of Good Man, beneficiary

3. A copy of ALL pages of the passport of Amanda
4. A copy of the birth certificate of Good Man along with English translation
5. A marriage certificate
6. Form G-325a completed by Amanda
7. One passport-type photo of Amanda
8. Form G-325a completed by Good Man
9. One Passport-type photo of Good Man
10. Evidence of a bona fide marriage
– A copy of Health Insurance verification of coverage by Fancy Expensive Insurance Company

(Policy Holder Name: Amanda, Covered Member Name: Good Man)
– A copy of monthly bill of Verizon Cellphone plan (Amanda and Good Man)
– A copy of a joint tenancy lease of a common residence

Contents of I-485 and supporting documents
1. Filing fee for I-485 to USCIS: $1010 as check.
2. Form I-485 Application To Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status

3. A copy of non US Citizen spouse’s passport (biographical page and visa entry stamp)
4. A copy of non US Citizen spouse’s valid I-94 (front and back copies)
5. A copy of the birth certificate of Good Man along with English translation
6. A marriage certificate
7. Form G-325a completed by Good Man
8. Two passport-size photos of Good Man
9. Sealed Form I-693, Medical Examination of Aliens Seeking Adjustment of Status
10. Form I-864EZ, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act

– including additional required supporting documents (tax return, W2, current pay stub)
11. Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
– including additional required supporting documents; a copy of I-20 and two passport-type photos
12. Form I-131, Application for Travel Documentation and statements

Operation Immigration: Cost

Total cost so far:
Fiancé & Marriage Visas: A Couple’s Guide to U.S. Immigration: $27.56

Passport photos: $38
Health Check: $150
TDAP and MMR: $48
Translation: ~30 minutes of fixing Kwanjangnim’s computer
Chest X-ray: $46
Copies (I): $11.36
Passport photos of Amanda: $16.78
Copies (II): $26.85
Postage with Return Receipt: $10.85

I-130 Filing: $355
I-485 Filing: $1010
Total: $1,740.40

Operation Immigration: Timeline

Mailed AOS/EAD/AP to Chicago Lockbox: 6/1/2009