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May 2007

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Blue Moon

"It's Blue Moon tonight!" Claudia told me this afternoon. I didn't know what it really meant. I assumed the moon was supposed to be blue for some reason. According to wikipedia, there are different definitions of blue moons. Tonight's blue moon is second full moon in one calender month, which happens every 2.72 years. It wasn't as romantic as it sounds.

Last night our delivery bike got a flat tire, which paralized our operation to some extent. This morning it was promptly fixed at Frank's Bike Shop, then in the middle of the afternoon Tomoko came back from shopping dragging the bike with flat. Was it a bad repair job or just a coincidence that happens once in a blue moon? They did find a small piece of glass stuck in the tire back at the bike shop, but we got a free repair this time.
on may 31, 2007 @ 06:58 pm [link]

a little getaway

We were blessed with beautiful weather for Memorial day weekend. For me it is the day to be on the beach. Kathy, Heidi, Jose and I, with enough food to feed an entire village, headed to Jacob Riis Park in Rockaway in a zipcar named 'Midway.' Sun was out, wind was mild, and although water was cold and truly disgusting with mysterious bubbles floating around, Jose and I jumped right into the water to get ocean cleanse. Then we ate, ate, ate, because everything tastes better on the beach, and threw frisbee back and forth and ran around all over the place chasing it. I finished with a little run on the beach and another dip to cool off. We had so much fun and yes, I am very tired today.
on may 29, 2007 @ 06:18 pm [link]

I still haven't sent the application for my American passport, nor haven't registered to vote. People still congratulate me daily, since I told them, or they have read in my blog (yes, this blog has general readers- other than my parents!) The other day Hiroe asked me what would be the benefit of becoming an American. I said now I can apply for government jobs. Really. But seriously, what would be the benefit besides right to vote. I think being able to come and go as I please is a big deal. Some of my American friends think that it is not a good time to be an American, but if you live in this country, it is definitely good to be American. Despite of jury duty that I'll be facing. I'm glad that after 19 years in this country I am no longer one of 'others.'
on may 23, 2007 @ 07:01 pm [link]

Finally, it's official

I headed out for my Oath Ceremony to be an American this morning. I thought I was a little too early; I was at the Federal Building at a quarter after 8. The ceremony was supposed to be at 9 am. But there were already douzens of people entering the building before me. We waited for a few minutes in the room, and this very round very American man came and told us to follow him in a single file. I quickly followed him, and he took us just to the hallway and we entered the same room on the other side where we are taking our oath of allegiance. As we entered the room, they took my greencard away. My god, they took my greencard away! I felt slightly insecure. I was the first one to be seated in the room on the first row. There was an American flag, and then the blue flag of the Department of Homeland Security in front of us. Finally it was hitting me, touching me, that I am going to be an American citizen. After waiting for anther 20 minutes, the Director informed us that he won't be beginning the ceremony probably until 9:30. There will be 250 of us new citizens. And please turn the cell phone off. Occasionally there was a buzz coming through the speaker, and he said that's someone's cell phone. I wondered this being an office of Homeland Security, the place is specially wired to tap into our cell phones? My ringer was off, but I said I should probably shut it off all together. I was glad to have my book, Talk, Talk, by TC Boyle, which I'm about to finish, that is getting so intense it's hard to put it down. Just little more wait, and it will be over. So we waited patiently another 50 minutes, and the Director came back to the microphone a few more times to give us some updates, what's going to happen, and to turn off the cell phone. Finally the ceremony began a quarter to 10. We took an Oath, we pledged to the flag, and watched Mr. President's welcome massage on video. We sang the national anthem, and watched a cheesy music video- later I found out that it was Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA." As much as it was cheesy, I was indeed feeling proud to be an American. No matter how many times I leave, or how long I leave, I can always come back to this country. It is my country now. I was hoping that we don't have to wait for our document for another hour after the ceremony, but this time it was smooth. They handed me the Certificate of Naturalization and I was the first one to leave the room. I rode the elevator with the big black man who was seated next to me, and we nodded to each other. "Finally." In the evening Kathy came to congratulate me, then later Lynn came to celebrate over glasses of sake. She announced everyone who came to the restaurant that I became an American today. I came home and hugged my kitty and said, "I'm American like you!" The other day I was talking to my mother and she asked, "Does that mean that you can be the President?" "No, mom. I wasn't born here." "But how about Arnold Schwarchenegger?" "I guess I can be the Governor, or Mayor." I was telling that to Lynn and she thought that was so cute for my mother to ask me that.
on may 19, 2007 @ 12:46 am [link]

Long day at the office

This morning I headed out for my citizenship interview at the office of Homeland Security. I just missed a train when I went down to the subway. After I waited for J train for 20 minutes, I heard an announcement that it's running only every half hour. I decided not to wait any more, since I didn't want to be late for the interview. But I couldn't find a cab on the ground. I walked a few blocks, and I finally caught one on Ludlow street. I jumped in, and it was my customer Ben at the wheel. He was so delighted to pick me up and gave me a free ride to the immigration office. I was 30 minutes early for my appointment, joining roomful of other immigrants patiently waiting for their name to be called. After two and a half hours, I was finally called in. I was asked what color is the stars on American flag. Who advises the president? What are the three branches of the US government? The officer kept busy flipping through all the papers in my file. I was asked to write down a sentense: She worked hard every day. That's about me, I thought. I was asked to read aloud a short paragraph. So it was basically just a formality. I passed the test. The officer checked here, there, I signed here, there, and she stamped here, there, and signed here, and there. I was painless process, except the waiting part. Then she gave me a piece of paper and told me to wait at the other side of the waiting room for a letter for an Oath Ceremony. She said it would be about 45 minutes. There I waited another hour and a half, and finally received the letter. Now, on the back of this letter there are a few more questions to answer and sign for me. It says after the interview: Have you married, committed crime, or became a Communist. Has there been any change in your willingness to bear arms on behalf of the United States? Have you practiced poligamy; recieved income from illegal gambling; been a prostitute; illicitly trafficked in drugs or marihuana; or been a habitual drunkard? I'm serious. I got a few more days to behave. This country really seems not to like a habitual drunkard.

In the evening I had a surprise visit by my friends from Barcelona Nuria and Gisela. They are heading to Berkshire for a film festival where Nuria's film is being shown. Nuria and I had many sleepless nights down in the basement at SVA editing our films back in our film school days. We were so busy this evening, and I really didn't have much time to sit down with them, but it was so, so nice to see my old friends. So I forgot all about my long day at the office.
on may 16, 2007 @ 12:36 am [link]

Since it's getting hot hot hot

My right leg became a lot more hairier since the injury. It's funny but very true. It's significantly hairier, especially around the knee near the scar. I think I have to start waxing my leg which I'm not used to. I usually only need to pluck a few hairs here and there on my leg, but it needs more serious attention now. I wonder if I could make a contribution for science of hair growth. Get injured if you want more hair!

Just in time for warm weather, an air-conditioner arrived in our kitchen! Last summer it became totally dangerously hot back there, and my brain was fried in 110 degree kitchen for days and weeks. I said we can afford some luxury this year. It's just the perfect weather for spicy tuna bowl, and I'm playing Brazilian music all day.
on may 9, 2007 @ 06:40 pm [link]

Time flies

It's already May; it means that we've gone through one third of the year 2007. That's kind of depressing. But I'd like to think that good times always seem to go fast. Indeed, the two weeks I was immobilized after the accident seemed to be forever. Then the past three weeks recovering from inactivity seemed like an eternity also. But it's been only three weeks and I feel I'm almost ready to start running again. I've made an entry for NYC Half-marathon in August and NYC marathon in November, which I have guaranteed spots for both. While I was so caught up with my injury during the past month, I completely forgot my father's birthday. When Tom came to pick up his food the other day wearing a shirt that said 'Ganko' (stubborn in Japanese), I remembered it. Happy belated birthday, Dad! On saturday, I've finished another round of successful cooking classes. You can see on the happy faces of my students on home page. New round will follow very soon.
on may 6, 2007 @ 08:48 pm [link]

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