Archive for April, 2012

Income requirements

Since the waiting game for Beloved’s naturalization has well and truly started, I’ve been looking into the details of the CR-1 spousal visa (and green card). Filing a petition for a spouse to be allowed to immigrate, has requirements for the petitioner. The petitioner must have, or must at the time of immigration, established domicile in the US. The legal definition of establsihing domicile for immigration purposes is vague.

There is also an income requirement. Which isn’t unreasonable in and of itself, of course. But it’s somewhat problematic if the petitioner is planning to go to grad school, instead of working. Now, the income requirement can be fulfilled by owning ” immediately liquifiable assets”.  But the definition of “immediately liquifiable”  is also vague. And do assets abroad count? Or not?

I had expected us to be able to do the entire visa process ourselves (I consider myself a red-tape adept, honestly), but we may have to consult a lawyer on all this. If our understanding of legal definitions differ from the understanding of the immigrations people, our petition could be denied for nothing more than having money in the wrong type of bank account.

Eh. Better go learn something more about finance.

When the going gets tough, I want an apron

No seriously. If I had a bad day at work, I fantasize about baking. About lovingly folding shirts. Selecting ties. A tough week makes me think in detail about weeks’ worth of carefully laid out bento boxes my Beloved can bring to the office/ university library/ wherever he goes to bring home the Tofurkey.

It’s a form of escapism that is both hilarious (to me) and surreal (also: to me). I’m not sure if I also should call these escapist fantasies enlightening. They may be, but I don’t know what the message is. Because I’m pretty sure I’d get a serious case of cabin fever if I were to be a stay-at-home-wife. Or even a part-time-jobby-job-volunteer-75%-housework-wife. I have never been happier than now, in a set-up where I work a full-time-equivalent job which allows me to be financially independent and have a career, where Beloved has one too (but with different hours) and whatever is not done by our cleaning lady (she rocks!) we divide up by level of anal-retentiveness.

So, why the fantasies? I don’t much like housekeeping (although cooking, baking and laundry folding are by far my favourite endeavours in that arena), but I think it provides me with a sense of security. Something that says “Well, at least you can do that” when I’m am staring down the three most probably US-move-locations (one on the west coast, one on the east coast and one pretty much in the middle) and I do not see a strategy to start planning for what happens when I get there.

Really, it’s the thing that most exhilarates and terrifies me about this whole move to another continent: What Will I Do When I Am There? I’ve managed to conjure up scenarios from part-time remote employment at my current employer with freelancing and volunteering (at a pet shelter with cool dogs) on the side to complete SAHW scenarios to high pressure careers in demanding industries in which maybe Beloved gets to follow me around instead of the opposite.

The scenario I like best is that of the unattached-freelancers-with-nomadic-lifestyle. I keep translating, writing and editing, and Beloved goes from conference to panel to think tank and me, I come with, doing my work wherever and meeting everyone and seeing everything. Due to it’s absolute unplannability, though, it’s not a good fantasy scenario if the inner list maker decides something needs to be planned and scheduled and listed and flowcharted.

Hence my desire for neatly boxed up lentil stew with flowers made of naan-bread, hummus with a sun made out of slices of red and yellow pepper and whole-wheat pasta covered with stars of fresh tomatoes, and mozzarella and a basilicum moon.

The paperwork sendoff

Earlier this week  Beloved went to the municipality to pay a metric shitton of euros, sign some documents and officially request naturalization. *yay*

Yesterday it became clear that the semi-coalition of “Christian Party”  with “Liberal Party” supported by “Racist Party” has collapsed. This means that if the changes to the law on double nationalities still come under the vote, Liberal Party won’t be held hostage by the Christian Racists and can vote against.

Also, if the people can get their heads out of their asses we can now proceed to (please, pwetty pwease) elect some non-racist politicians (if they also know how to not destroy education and stop the housing market from collapsing in on itself, that would be ah-MAZ-ing, yeah?)

Let’s hope, folks. For a speedy naturalizations, but moreso for smart people turning out to vote and the right people getting elected.


No resurrections for us

Moodypuss is dead.

We took him to the emergency clinic over Easter because the steady decline in health turned into a sheer drop. He basically lost the capacity to (sort of) jump, walk, drink, eat and (really) sleep in 24 hours. We worked through one night where I made him a nest with a hot water bottle and his food and drink just a nose-reach away. I petted him until he seemed to sleep, but he crawled out the nest and tried to jump on our bed.

He failed and got his claws stuck in the blankets hanging off the side of the bed, too weak to free himself. I’m happy I am a light sleeper and heard him jump – he could have been there all night. Twice in those same 24 hours we had to catch him to prevent him from falling down the stairs. He kept trying to use them when we weren’t watching him to see if he needed to be carried to the litterbox.

He fell over backwards and sideways when trying to use his scratching post. His hind legs would sag if the ground was even remotely uneven. When drinking, his head would sag and he’d get a nose full of water a handful of times before he’d give up. Even when we put him in his basket (which he hated) he didn’t fight. Nor did he try to bolt out of it when we opened up the basket to pet him when we were waiting for the vet to see us.

We felt it was obvious that this was no life for a cat and that we made the right decision to take him in and have him put down. It was still a huge relief to hear the vet confirm that Moodypuss was in fact at the very end of his life and that we were just in time to prevent him being in pain and more malaise.

Still, as anyone knows who has lost a pet, it doesn’t hurt any less to know that you did it right.

I was grateful to be there. See, Beloved and Moodypuss lived together for 6 years. For a while they had a roommate but they mostly lived alone, slept in the same bed and shared their single-man-lifestyle (except with more cuddling than you’d expect). I felt that I owed it to Moodypuss to let him spend as much time as possible with Beloved while I handled the practical stuff. After all, he graciously let me share his bed and his favourite human for cuddles when I showed up on dates and weekends, to cat-sit when Beloved traveled and later permanently.

Peace out, Moodypuss, you were an awesome cat.

Moodypuss being true to his name. Picture by Patrick Moran.

How hopeful

despite his persistent cold and my persistent headache, today was and is a very good day.

  • he came back in one piece;
  • I took a day off;
  • we requested naturalization first thing this morning;
  • the dude we requested it from quoted us a 7 to 9 month timeline (as opposed to a full year);
  • we made soup for lunch;
  • we had nibbles for dinner and worked through a whole bowl of humus;
  • our cat Moodypuss is delighted to have his favorite human back to sit on;
  • we were able to watch the first episode of season 2 of Game of Thrones (still awesome);
  • plenty of cuddles.