Thursday, March 12, 2009

Old stress, new stress.

Yeah, that was one of the longest no-blog stretches I've ever not written in.

Hmm. After a quick re-read, I've decided that I need to keep up my writing chops. The interesting word usements are struggling.

The last week has been one of the most stressful of my life, and of the four things weighing heavily on me (that I'm writing on... there are others) that I had a chance to work on, three are either fixed, finished or progressing nicely. Three out of four ain't bad. Progress.

Perhaps the most exciting and momentous thing that happened was that Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife and I had our big interview with the good people at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and my wife is now a 100% permanent resident, as in she got a green card.

So yeah, the implications of that? Was my wife an illegal immigrant? No, but she was in a gray area. Was. As in... past tense now.

Also, hours later, my wife received a learner's permit, so after next week she'll be able to drive legally.

We failed to make progress on a BS legal issue that is not immigration related, but is wholeheartedly annoying. A woman faking medical injuries has been harassing us, and I am going bonkers that despite the fact that this person is obviously a professional victim, things are at a stalemate. Our insurance company is refusing to talk to the woman, so she is attempting to rehash things in court. Grr. The worst part for me is that I was able to schedule a court appointment for last week when I was home to take care of immigration, drivers license, and health care issues with The Boy, and the court appointment was cancelled due to a clerical era, so the next appointment will go on while I'm out here. Grrr.

Anyhow, it has been an incredibly stressful time for my wife. Imagine being in a foreign country, with a serious language handicap. and having to take a test at the DMV in a foreign language (which you don't speak), meet with immigration officials on one hand, and facing a courtroom while involved in a spurious case, all within 48 hours, and all the while your son is dealing with illness and the prospect of surgery in the near future.

Amazingly, my wife did not explode. She did break down and cry when she got her green card, though they were very, very happy tears. Good to see.

If anyone is curious about the immigration interview, they ask questions to verify whether a couple is really married. At the end, the couple is required to disrobe and make love in front of the interviewer.

Hah! Just kidding! My wife did NOT think that that was funny.

We WERE asked questions about how we handle bills, our lives together, insurance, our home, etc. I forgot my wife's father's first name, however, which provided some entertainment. He passed away a long time ago, and my wife doesn't talk about him much. The interviewer told me, afterward, that the fact that I forgot something so important was a good thing, as it showed that I was nervous, and that I hadn't memorized a list of facts before we walked in the door.
So, the Immigration office is a mini-UN, which is to say that the employees were a melting pot full of disparate people united by indecipherable accents. Seriously, I asked for directions twice in the course of 50 feet, and could not understand the people who were trying SO hard to help me. It wsn't for lack of effort.
Proving once and for all that Walt Disney was correct and It's A Small World, the interviewer, though posessed of a flawless midwest accent, was from my wife's tiny city in Brazil. He was very prim and proper (he asiked my wife in english if she needed to reschedule to bring an interpreter, at one point, despite their common primary language), but also easy to talk to. It went well.

But, like all good things, it had to end. On tuesday evening I made a perfect drive to Philly to pick up my barge/home for the next month, and thus, here I sit, missing my family. Vaguel satisfied with progress, but also feeling distinctly peaked. It was a long week.

Oh, and here's a nice picture from Brazil. Just a little thank you for reading my BS. No, I am not married to either of these women.


Anonymous said...

congrats to you and the missus on the green card. May ICE stay far away from you and your family.

tugsri said...

And where are you working that you are on for a month? Most of us are 2/2 or 3/3 in the Northeast?

paul the pirate (Yar!) said...

I have my choice between 2/2, 3/3, or 20/10 or 28/14, depending on whether I'm running clean, black oil, or bunkering. Don't know if I should say where I'm working- I'm not sure about my new employer's view on blogging, and I freaked out my regular employer a couple of times, so...

Brian Barker said...

I see that President Obama wants everyone to learn another language, however which one should it be?

The British learn French, the Australians study Japanese, and the Americans prefer Spanish. Yet this leaves Russian, Mandarin Chinese and Arabic, out of the equation.

It is time to move forward and discuss the subject of a common international language, taught worldwide, in all schools and in all nations.

An interesting video can be seen at A glimpse of the language can be seen at

paul the pirate (Yar!) said...

OK, a spammer got by my capcha word verification! It's hard to believe that there's still someone shilling for esperanto. Brian, if I was going to learn a made-up language, it'd be Klingon, because it would be more likely that I'd run into a trekkie than someone who is stuck in 1976.

Anonymous said...