It's that time of year again...time to make the list or resolutions. Here are mine for 2011:
- Eat better
- Go to the gym more
- Travel more
- Read more
- Play more
- Work harder
- Lose weight
- Learn a foreign language
- Be friendlier
Happy New Year everyone!
Today marks 1 year that the Sabra and I have been married...how crazy is that? I never thought I'd actually get married, let alone be celebrating an anniversary. Wow, craziness.
We are going to watch a movie and eat Ethiopian for dinner...nice way to celebrate, don't you think?
One down, and the rest of our lives to go.
I just read an article about the 50 places I should see in my life. It was very sad see that there were so many places listed that I have not been to. On the up side, however, there were a few places that I had been to.
So, I decided to make a list of everywhere I’ve been to. This is not comprehensive, mostly because I can’t remember everywhere. Hopefully, I’ll be adding to this list soon.
- Bahamas, The
- Saint Martin
- United Kingdom
- United States
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- Virgin Islands
- West Virginia
- Vatican City
The Sabra got her travel documents yesterday. That means we have cleared yet another hurdle in this arduous Green Card process. This is good news; she is now free to move about the world, and she is already talking about going back to the Holy Land for about a month (this, too, is good, as I will go for 2 weeks to visit--I could use a vacation and a good fixin' of Shawarma!).
We're thinking sometime in November, but I have a launch then, so I'm not sure how that will play out.
Now we are waiting for the temporary work permit (which will be temporary for 2 years...then we will have a second interview and it will be permanent). We are also waiting for the first interview.
So, we wait. But in the meantime, thanks to ICE for not forgetting about us.
This is a bit of a catch-up post…
The Sabra is back, living in the same state, and indeed, the same house as yours truly. She received official word that she was laid off a few weeks ago, and after an unfortunate series of events, she finally accepted the severance package her office offered: 2 more paychecks, relocation money, and 10 days’ worth of COBRA while we waited for my insurance to pick her up. I flew up on July 2, and we drove back on the fifth, car loaded with all her worldly possessions.
Now that she is unemployed and almost without a status, we have submitted the paperwork for her Green Card…and what an experience that has been. It was actually easier than we thought to get all the papers together, and I got my bonus at work at just the right time—for it ain’t cheap to get permanent residence status. She also had to get a physical from a US Citizenship and Immigration Services recognized doctor. This physical included a TB test, which, due to her being immunized as a child, she promptly failed. So, she had to go to another place to get a chest x-ray to verify that she is TB free. But, since we live in the District, we had to take an extra step.
I took yesterday off thinking that I would get some well-deserved rest and get some things done around the apartment. Instead, I spent the better part of the morning at DC General Hospital at the TB clinic where the Sabra had to get clearance from the DC Department of Health. It was a bit creepy hanging out with so many consumptives in one room. I will definitely need to get a TB test at my next physical!
With clearance in hand, we returned to the CIS approved clinic and had all the paperwork finalized. We put the papers, applications, and checks (yes, there were 3 of them) in the mail this morning.
Now we wait for the next step in the process, which I believe is the interview…stay tuned!
After a lot of stressing, the Sabra and I finally decided on a date: 29 January 2009, we will tie the knot.
So there you go.
We've started telling folks.
Since my sister lives in Portland, OR, and she feels like she's not with the family on special days, we decided to tell her before anyone else. We called her last night, and I led with "can you keep a secret?" She immediately guessed that I was calling to tell her that I was engaged.
This afternoon, we called the Sabra's parents to tell them officially. They already knew it was coming since I talked to them the other day for their permission (actually for their blessing because I don't know how to say "permission" in Hebrew), but we still wanted them to know that the deed had been done.
I am hosting Rosh Hashana this year, and my parents and oldest sister came here for dinner. Before we started making dinner, and before my sister got here, we told my parents. I said, "I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that it might take you a little longer to get to Japan, but the good news is that you are still going to get to go to Asia." When my sister arrived, we told her as well.
I guess it's becoming official now that the family knows.
I had the ring in the car when I picked up the Sabra last night, but the moment just wasn't right to do it.
Tonight was the night.
One of our first "dates" involved a rather long walk down Wisconsin Ave. At one point, we stopped at a church to sit on the step and rest for a bit. Before I knew it, we were talking about weddings and what we liked and didn't like in the weddings we'd been to, and what we would want and wouldn't want in our own weddings. Since then, we'd always joked that we should get engaged on those steps.
As fate would have it, the church lies just south of the Metro station we use to get to the gym. So, I'd been trying to see how I could manage it to walk past the church on our way back to the Metro, but we always seemed to switch sides before we'd get to the church.
Tonight, however, was different.
After our workouts, we took showers and changed clothes. Before I left the men's dressing room, I took the ring out of the box and put it in my pocket. These are relatively new pants, but I was convinced that I would suddenly and spontaneously get a hole in the pocket and lose the ring before we got to the church.
As we headed to the Metro, I kept us on the correct side of the street (the lights were also on our side and they were green most of the way so we didn't need to switch sides). When we got to the church, I asked the Sabra if she wanted to sit for a minute "for fun and old-time's sake." She said sure, and we sat.
I tried to steer the conversation toward the topic of marriage, but it just wasn't working too well. I was nervous, and I think she knew what was coming and was nervous too. I had already made a big deal that I wanted to go out to dinner, so after my stuttering to try to start the conversation, the Sabra said she was cold and hungry and wanted to get moving (she did have goose-bumps).
We went to Neisha, a Thai place in Tenley Town. I broached the subject again. This time I said, "what do you think? Can you see yourself with a ring?" and I took my ring off, and put it on her finger with the shank up so it looked like a wedding band. She said she didn't know. I pulled out the real ring and said, "well, what about with this one?" and put it on her finger.
She was a bit dumbfounded for a minute and then realized that this was it, I was really proposing. She was so happy, she almost cried. She didn't, but she did get up and hug and kiss me.
I think it was a very nice way to propose, but it wasn't the way I had it in my head. That's fine. We're both happy. Also, since it wasn't the official engagement ring, I still have a second opportunity to "officially" propose.
I played hookie from work today, and I went out to lunch with Shining Starr9. We talked about how the Sabra and I are seriously talking about getting married in January. I told her that I didn't have a ring yet, so I couldn't propose because I don't want to do it without a ring.
She suggested that I buy a "promise ring." I wasn't so sure, but I thought I'd give it a try. So, we dropped her car off and headed over to the mall. It was PG Plaza (or the Mall at Prince Georges as they prefer to be called now). We looked at some nice stuff, but it was more than I wanted to spend. Please don't misunderstand, I'm happy to spend as much as I need to, but since this isn't the engagement ring, I just wanted something nice to do what needs to be done.
So, after excluding anything out of my price range, I didn't find anything nice. We ended up at Macy's, and I did a panic purchase. I bought a ring that looked really nice at the moment, but as I looked at it and looked at it, I came to realize that I didn't like it at all.
I headed over to Montgomery Mall, which has a different class of clientele. I went into Helzberg and found a really nice ring that had the Sabra written all over it. I returned the ring to Macy's without even thinking about it, and bought the one at Helzberg.
Now I need to give it to her...
I recently received an email from LtL. He decided that he needed a respite from the hustle and bustle for New York City; he needed to rejuvenate, renegotiate, and recreate himself. Like cars, we all need to pull off the freeway of life and refuel once in a while. Many of us have a special place where we can sit and let our batteries recharge (or refill the tank if you’d prefer I didn’t mix a metaphor—unless you have a hybrid). For some it’s going back to their childhood home, or a grandparent’s house. For others it’s communing with nature by hiking and camping. I prefer to go to London or Jerusalem. There is something about those two cities that I really like. A nice vacation in either city will allow me to come home and be able to deal with all the bullshit that is my daily life.
This is not so for LtL. He has decided that in order to fulfill his calling he must leave NYC, break up with his partner of a number of years, sell what he has, quite his job, and drive ½ way across the country to a state and city he’s never been to. His special refilling place is the American Southwest, and the desert. As such, he has decided to head out to New Mexico with no job prospects, no housing, not even any friends.
I think it’s insane. He’s not getting any younger, and still he’s willing to quit his job and seek out a new one with no prospects. I continued to think of all the things I’d say to him when we talked about this decision…like that I thought he was absolutely crazy and it was pretty much one of the dumbest things he’d come up with yet.
Then, in one of those rare moments of introspection that I have, I realized 2 things: 1) I still thought that he was absolutely insane for doing this, and 2) the only reason I was planning on being so disparaging was that I was in fact jealous. I wasn’t jealous of his decision to go to New Mexico in the hopes of working at Spaceport America, but rather, I was jealous of LtL’s courage. I know that he isn’t the type to make rash decisions, and if he did in fact decide to do this, then a lot of thought went into it. I was jealous that I’m not as brave or adventurous as I’d like to be. Every night I lay in bed with the Sabra, and we talk about moving to San Francisco or Boston or Jerusalem or Tel Aviv or London, and every morning when the alarm goes off, we both get out of bed and trudge back to jobs we hate.
But not LtL. He put is money where is mouth is, as the saying says, and got off his ass and did something about his unhappiness. Do I still think he’s crazy? Yep. But I also think that whether he finds what he’s looking for or not, he will be happier for having tried it. I wish him well. I support him to the fullest I can. I hope that his courage and conviction will inspire me to do more of what I want to do than my comfort level will allow.
His journey reminds of a great line from an otherwise mediocre song:
Somebody once asked could I spare some change for gas
I need to get myself away from this place
I said yep what a concept
I could use a little fuel myself
And we could all use a little change
-- Smash Mouth