Archive for November, 2005

Green Card

Posted by Arlo on Nov 11, 2005 under Life of Arlo

Oksana\'s Green Card PhotoA continuation of this journal.

You’d think that, 38 months after our wedding, we would be all through with the expenses. Not true, when you marry an alien.

Oksana has been keeping an eye on the calendar and, back in February, it was time for her to submit another INS form. Her temporary green card (i.e., her permission to work in the U.S.) was about to expire and she needed to apply for the permanent extension. We fired up the internet, sussed out the appropriate I-551 form, and started to compile the appropriate paperwork. We wrote a check for the form submission fee ($200!) and packaged it up in an envelope with 20 pages of supporting documents. It was mailed off to Anchorage on February 3rd ($4.30).

A couple months later, we received notification that our paperwork was in process – that was a good thing, because Oksana’s temporary green card would have expired in May.

In late August we received another letter from the Anchorage INS office informing us that her petition for a permanent green card (for the INS, permanent apparently means “ten years”) had been approved and that she only need to do a couple things to make it official.

Step One: Provide three passport-sized photos.
Step Two: Submit the photos. In person… at the Anchorage office.
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Halloween 2005

Posted by Arlo on Nov 4, 2005 under Life of Arlo, Videos

UAS ITS as Willy Wonka, I guess.Early November and another Halloween has come to pass. This year was remarkably similar to the last – video editing to get me in the mood through the weeks before, an enjoyable social evening spent carving pumpkins, and a surprisingly taxing half-day of videotaping my department’s at-work shenanigans.

This year, our department decided on a Willy Wonka theme. I must say, despite procrastinating until the last weekend, our crew turned out some great costumes. Orange-faced, green-haired Oompa Loompas paraded around a purple-suited Wonka, a tuxedoed Slugworth, and four college-age adaptations of the lucky golden-ticket-wielding children. During our tour around campus, everyone handed out Wonka Bucks that were intended to be exchanged later for treats at our “Candy Store.”

Unfortunately, our lack of planning came back to haunt us when the student judges selected two other departments for the coveted campus Halloween awards. Not that the competition wasn’t deserving. We were handily beaten by the same strategy our department had created years before – the Presentation. That’s right; capital P.

We didn’t go home empty handed, though. One of our student assistants took home the best individual costume for Violet Beauregarde’s blueberry. I would never have guessed that an oversized blue jumpsuit, filled with balloons, would beat out all the other impressive costumes!

Back at home, Oksana spearheaded our pumpkin carving. She went corporate this year by selecting a Dodge Ram log while giving me the difficult task of carving a design whose difficulty was listed as “moderate” in our book. After punching maybe a thousand holes into the pumpkin through the cheat sheet, using a tiny jack-o-lantern saw to carve out tiny, intricate bats and a swooping ghost’s cape, I wondered what horrors lay in wait for those that chose to tackle a “challenging” design.

No Halloween would be complete (at least, not for me) without the mad rush to finish editing the previous year’s Halloween music video. 2005 was no exception. I finished the “SPAM!” video with just five days to go, but a little push from the campus PR department ensured that it got played around campus and helped to build excitement.

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