Clicky Clacky Happy and Pro Shots

Good Man built me a computer. There’s something wrong with it (it needs a different fan or something?) but seems to be working right now. In any case, I am extremely happy because it’s fast, the screen is gorgeous and I have a new keyboard!

Good Man found a Korean keyboard online, so I don’t need any more keyboard stickers! Keyboard stickers peel off. They fall off. They leave sticky stuff behind. No more of that! I get Korean letters and English letters all on the same keyboard.

Oh, bliss.

And on top of it, this is one of those-old school normal keyboards. F-keys across the top. A numerical keyboard on the right. A few functional keys like “home” and “end.” Arrow keys. But no volume keys. No quick-launch internet keys. Crap key, as Good Man calls them. None of those. It does have the additional English/Korean switch key as well as a Hanja key.

Oh, bliss!

And! And! Even better! Best of all! The keyboard is loud and clacky. I adore loud keyboards. I don’t like soft, smooshy, quiet keyboards. I am on the computer—I want to hear myself working!

Oh, utter bliss!

The only problem is that it’s a standard-size board and I’ve been working on laptop keyboards exclusively for the last year, so my fingers aren’t used to the spread they need to cover. But with a little practice that will be taken care of. (On top of this, I got a new laptop at work because I’m awesome—only two of us rec’d new comps—and I need to get used to its new feeling and spread, too. It’s mooshy. I don’t really like it.)

Bliss! Bliss!

***

We got our pro shots from the wedding back. (Less than three weeks! Amazing turn-around time.) And we are very pleased. Strongly recommend Jeremy over at LifeLight Photography.

Immigration Timeline Update

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
6/13/2009: Biometrics appt rec’d for 7/1
7/1/2009: Biometrics appt, in and out in 15 minutes
7/17/2009: USCIS website says that AP/EAD approval notice sent
7/22/2009: USCIS website says EAD card ordered
7/23/2009: USCIS website says EAD sent
7/24/2009: Rec’d notice for interview on 8/27 (Washington, DC location—which is actually in Fairfax)
7/27/09: Rec’d AP
7/29/2009: EAD rec’d

Not Tea

Diana’s in town! And her fiancé is in tow!

And on an unrelated note…

Wedding Geese and Wedding Figurines

Grilling Spicy Pork on Our Table-Top Grill
(A wedding gift from a cousin.)

One of These Is Not Like the Others and… 8/27 at 10:15 am…

Turning

!

Holy kimchi.

We got our interview notice. Or rather, Good Man got his interview notice, which demanded that I, as his wife and sponsor, appear. August 27th, 10:15 am, we’ll be interviewing two and a half miles away. We know the building. It’s across the street from the subway station.

I am already nervous.

Good Man’s response was, “It must be hard to be you. You pre-worry so much.”

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
6/13/2009: Biometrics appt rec’d for 7/1
7/1/2009: Biometrics appt, in and out in 15 minutes
7/17/2009: USCIS website says that AP/EAD approval notice sent (haven’t rec’d yet)
* 7/22/2009: USCIS website says EAD card ordered (haven’t rec’d yet)
* 7/23/2009: USCIS website says EAD sent (haven’t rec’d yet)
* 7/24/2009: Rec’d notice for interview on 8/27 (Washington, DC location—which is actually in Fairfax)



3 comments


Comment from: Rho [Visitor]

pre-worrying is what women do because men never worry at all :D

07/25/09 @ 08:50


Comment from: Katie [Visitor] · http://stagestitches.blogspot.com
So after the interview, how much of the process is left? What will the interview consist of?

07/26/09 @ 18:26



Comment from: admin [Member] Email
The interview is basically there to see if we’re actually in a real marriage and not a fraud marriage. Generally they’ll ask how you met, what the spouse’s parents’ names are, birthdays, addresses, etc. They also want to check that I make enough money to keep us off of any form of public assistance for 10 years. IF they think it’s a fraud marriage, we’ll be scheduled for something called a Stokes Interview, which is where they grill you separately about what the house looks like, who usually wakes up first, who works where, what kind of clothing you like, number of TVs in the house, what sort of toothpaste you use, favorite foods etc. (I don’t even know what my favorite food is, let alone his! And what kind of toothpaste? The cheapest one on sale!)

After the interview, if he’s approved for a conditional green card, we’re done for 2 years. He gets a conditional green card for two years. After that time, we apply to lift the conditions. They want to make sure we’re still married (again, fraud prevention) and after 2 years of a conditional green card, he gets a 10-year permanent green card. One year after that being granted, he’s eligible for citizenship.

I’ll be posting later about what we’re collecting to bring to the interview…

She’s Not an Idiot! But I Am!

Good Man and I ran to his school again today to make sure his F1 status was canceled. On the one hand this is a bad idea—if he’s denied a green card, he’s here illegally and has to go home. On the other hand, this is a good idea—he can go to school half-time in the fall and spring instead of taking three classes in the fall and one in the spring, and his visa restrictions are lifted, and the fact that he’s now “green card applicant” instead of “F1 visa” is probably better for his in-state tuition application. Since we have no reason to think he’ll be denied, we’ll go for the other hand.

There are plenty of stories on the internet about advisors who threaten F1 green card applicant students. “You must stay in school full time until you get your green card or I’ll report you to SEVIS!” In fact, the secretary yesterday tried telling us that he needed a green card. I told her no, and she disagreed and I finally resorted to just shaking my head. No.

This advisor, however, was not an idiot. We showed up and she said, “Oh, I have the papers you dropped off yesterday, let me do that now.” She did it in a matter of minutes. I double-checked that he doesn’t have to pay for the student insurance that will repatriate his dead body. “No, none of the F1 restrictions apply now. But do come in when you get your green card so we can mark you as a permanent resident student, OK?”

We then ran down to his bank. As an F1 student he can only have one account, no joint signers, and some government organization watches his account. (FBI? IRS? DHS?) We wanted to see if we could get those restrictions lifted and add me as his joint signer. The woman said it was possible and asked for my ID.

And that is when I discovered that my license was not in my wallet.

I started to freak out. Then I realized that it was the last thing I copied at Office Depot yesterday when we were putting together the evidence for Good Man’s in-state tuition appeal.

Dammit.

While I was rifling through my purse and wallet and making him rifle through the stack of papers from yesterday (still in his backpack), the woman was asking me if I was interested in switching banks and would I consider it, because they’re running a promotion where we can win a free trip to the Bahamas (or something) if Good Man refers me.

Seriously, lady?

Well, the license was still at Office Depot. Thank God, because I’m an idiot.

***

When I got to taekwondo tonight, I forgot to put my belt on. I started to bow at the mat and remembered.

I came back to the mat with a belt on and started to run laps. Special Forces stopped me. “Amanda, your shirt,” he said, pointing. My shirt was on backwards.

When I left class tonight, I got all the way downstairs and out the front door before I remembered what I forgot. My umbrella.

Dude. Get it together, Amanda.

Class was great tonight. We did a ton of anaerobic exercises. Punch a target as hard as you can for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds. Repeat. Hooks. Front kicks. Round houses. Ab rows. Push ups. In between the punches/kicks and ab work/push ups we worked on forms. I was shaking while we worked on forms. I couldn’t keep my hands still in the junbi position.

Great class.

If I Knew Years Ago…. and Red Tape

…that being organized saves times, I would’ve become organized years ago.

When Good Man and I started living together, we read most of Smart Couples Finish Rich together. While there are parts I don’t agree with, I liked the author’s filing system idea and decided to use it in a large accordion file. This has made filing Good Man’s AOS easier, of course. And today, when Good Man decided he should fill in the in-state tuition appeal form, I was able to immediately get my hands on:

Our lease
My voter registration card

All of his NOAs (actually kept in a fire-proof safe)
My tax returns (state and federal)
My car registration (actually kept in my car)
My most recent pay stub

The only thing we had to hunt for was my W2 form, and that’s because we kept it with all of the other originals in our “originals for Good Man’s AOS” pouch. (Decided to make a copy of that sucker and keep it in the taxes section of the accordion since everyone and their cousin wants to see that thing.) Found it in a matter of minutes.

Turned in his in-state appeal today. Hopefully they will approve it. Tomorrow we go back to tell the woman in the int’l student office that his visa is no longer valid, that he doesn’t need the student insurance ensuring his body gets shipped back to Korea in case he dies, and to try to get his bank to add me to his account since he’s no longer under student status.

We can only hope that she will understand that since he’s rec’d the NOAs, his F1 is invalid.

Monday we went to my back to cash some wedding gifts. We had to go in person because bless one of my four grandmothers, she thought I took Good Man’s name and addressed the check to us under his last name.

While we were there, I decided to see if I could get a human to add Good Man to my account, even though he doesn’t have an SSN yet. I talked to the bank “manager” and immediately said, “He doesn’t have an SSN yet, but he got approved for his EAD and we’re just waiting to get it in the mail. He’s my husband, he’s here legally, we have proof. Can I add him to my account as my ‘in case I get hit by a bus he can get my account’ even if he can’t be joint?”

The man—who was possibly an immigrant himself—laughed and said he could add him.

“But when I called they said it was impossible to add him even if he was my husband because he didn’t have an SSN.”

The man shook his head and smiled, “They can be very useless.”

I found out how useless when the man had three phone numbers and four addresses ago on the screen still. I updated those via phone. Last year.

What is This Thing on My Car? and Immigration Update, Sort Of

What in the heck is this thing on my car? This photo was taken from inside the car and whatever it was appeared to be empty. The whole thing was probably a little larger than a quarter. It was fairly large. It was also a translucent white color.

What is This?

***
Over coffee one morning last week in the presence of Mom and George…

“How can I fix my computer?” I whined to Good Man. “And don’t tell me to wipe out the hard drive or buy a new one.” Good Man loves reinstalling Windows.

Good Man was silent for a moment. “If you had a t-shirt, and it was worn out, you would buy a new t-shirt, right?”

George laughed and said, “You know the tricks, you know the tricks.”

So Good Man decided to build me a desktop since I am basically killing my computer with all of my RAW shooting. Apparently I’m getting a terabyte of hard drive. I can’t even wrap my head over how big that is. Good Man spent hundreds of dollars more than he said he would and waited for the UPS truck all day yesterday.

“I Hear the Truck!”

“I See the Truck!”

“He’s Here!”

“Eeeeeeeeee!”

“Excellent.”

***
And in more bug news, I found this on the underside of a leaf on my cayenne plant today.

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
6/13/2009: Biometrics appt rec’d for 7/1
* 7/1/2009: Biometrics appt, in and out in 15 minutes
* 7/17/2009: USCIS website says that AP/EAD approval notice sent (haven’t rec’d yet)

I know that our case is moving quickly (they tell you it’s 60-90 days for EAD/AP approval, and we got (but didn’t receive) both within 50), but I am feeling frustrated by the fact that we can’t plan anything because we’re waiting for an interview date.

Ice Cream, Rice and Stupid Labels

Fatty Baking Powder

Found on a can of baking powder: NO TRANS FAT!

Really? We need that on baking powder? Do people think baking powder is fatty?

Something happened with trans fat while I was gone in Korea, because I came back and suddenly it was everywhere. Like Omega-3 fatty acids or whatever.

Ice Cream

“I want this ice cream maker.”

“OK,” shrugged Good Man. He does that often.

“Are you ever going to say ‘no’ to me?”

Good Man smiled and put his hand on the ice cream maker. “This is kitchen gadget. If you want kitchen gadget, you get kitchen gadget.”

“But will we use it?”

Good Man looked a little exasperated. “I have no idea.”

“Should we buy it?”

Good Man put his hand on my shoulder. “We need a new power cord. Which kind should I buy?”

“I don’t know. Buy whatever the heck you want.”

“Exactly.”

“…”

Since then I’ve made watermelon sorbet, almond-peppermint ice cream and blueberry ice cream. So good.

Blueberry Ice Cream

Rice Cooker

I love this rice cooker.

This morning we had oatmeal with pears and almonds in it. I added brown sugar to mine, though it’s not shown in this photo.

Fruited Oatmeal with Almonds

And for dinner we had a one pot meal of brown rice, veggies (carrots, broccoli, garlic, scallions and mushrooms), and sausage with a splash of soy sauce.

Mixed Rice

Wedding Aftermath and My Rice Cooker’s Babies

Our house looks like a disaster zone.

And for the first time ever in my adult life, my dishes match. Wow. I feel like an adult. (More than one family member has told us that our dishes “look Asian.” Good Man chose them.)

In other wedding aftermath news…

My brother’s wife (and kids) couldn’t come to the wedding. So she sent this with my brother. She included the Korean words for love and happiness in Korean. She even ended up with proper stroke order—apparently she looked at my nephew’s Hello Kitty! Hangul book.

Silk and Satin Quilt

Awesome Stroke Order…

Good Man’s Paternal Aunt gave us these…

Us!

A Gorgeous Mother-of-Pearl Jewelry Box

Good Man’s Mother crammed so much food into our fridge. I swear, I watched her take it all out of her luggage, but it somehow multiplied while being put in our fridge. Half of the stuff is wrapped up in baggies, newspapers, and then more baggies, so I don’t even know what it is.

Our Fridge, Post-Mother

The Elephant Brand

Good Man and I bought a new rice cooker. We went all out and bought The Elephant Brand because Mother basically demanded that we do so. We were at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and the man was trying to sell us a Cuisinart. I looked at him. “My mother-in-law is Korean. We have to get the Elephant Brand.”

HMart had The Elephant Brand (Zojirushi) and we went with the ten-cup induction heating NP-HBC18. I used it last night for the first time.

And now I want to have its babies.

Brown Rice

It has a bunch of different settings, including one for “GABA Brown” rice. Apparently GABA is some sort of amino-acid and “activating” it increases the amount of it in brown rice. The cooker activates it by heating the rice at 104 F for two hours before actually cooking it. OK, nutritionism aside, this stuff tastes wonderful.

Good Man eats brown rice because that’s what I cook, but he much prefers white rice. When this was done, he stared at it and said, “Is this our rice?” It was light, fluffy, still nutty, but not overly chewy. It was fantastic.

With dinner last night, I heated up some dried anchovies for Good Man. This is proof that I love him, because that stuff smells awful.

멸치

We also had spicy Korean pork with red-leaf lettuce, cucumber, carrots, seaweed, cooked mushrooms, some of Mother’s home-made kimchi, and some raspberry wine.

한삭 (Korean Food)

After the wedding, and after a clothing change and a brief rest, we went out for Korean food at Arirang in Germantown, Maryland (phone: 301.515.0057, 13541 Clopper Rd).

I love Arirang. It was all of the family members plus Mark, Mark’s Lover, and Mark’s Mom (17 people total). For several people it was their first time eating Korean food and they couldn’t believe the food kept coming.