Green Green Grass of Home

Shake 'n Quake
Rumblings were felt in the Puget Sound on Friday, no doubt a result of the 7-day stretch of cataclysmic and most-depressing headlines which The Seattle Times has been serving up this past week. All this doom and gloom had the very ground beneath our feet quaking in its boots to the tune of a 4.5 seismic shift. I woke up right about that time but it was to the loud if hollow drip sound of our ensuite bathroom tap.

OK, so I'm anthropomorphising things a bit - but for those of us interested in chaos and integral theories, I don't think it's all that outrageous to presume that all this collective ummm, shall we say, funky energy could take its toll. As above, so below and all that good, cause and effect stuff.

If nature was to imitate us humans in dramatic fashion, I can think of no better method than to posit a foundational crack in the ground. Real estate woes are finally real around the Puget Sound, albeit far less than elsewhere in the country. Our bubble doth done burst and oh woe are the dot-com and other gajillionnaires - investments have tanked everywhere and swindlers have made off with their hard and hardly-earned dough, proving once again that money really is the root of much evil.

And still, the layoff tales continue. Those once dead job fairs will now be packed to the hilt with executives looking to pay the mortgage and feed the kids. It's ugly but there are bright spots. I still contend that sometimes opportunity flies in the face of adversity and than some former corporate lifers may find their true calling from these ordeals.

Green Angel
Speaking of ordeals, some of you may recall that we've been waiting a year for word of our green card status (it was supposed to be a done deal last March). We had almost given up even as we have been apprehensive about next month's Boeing layoffs and how that might affect Holy Hub's job.

But we received notification on Thursday that we've been approved and green cards should be in hand within 3 weeks. Or rather, the entire Holy family has been approved except me - I confessed to my Mom that it had something to do with all that anti-Bush and political rant blogging I've been doing these past few years and she said, "I thought so!!" I then admitted that I was only joking and that it was actually something to do with my fingerprints - I have to re-do my biometrics at no cost to me...(like several thousands of dollars, not to mention several hundreds of dollars of advance-parole (out-of-country travel permits) renewal wasn't an additional cost incurred because of their slow-boat to China productivity, but don't get me started). I will be delighted to go back in and dip my foreign finiger digits in ink in order to get our green cards.

So what does this mean? In a word, everything. It means Holy Hub could get on permanent with Boeing if he so chose. It means he can look for other contract work and not be tied to a trade Nafta visa that permits him employment with only the one employer. It means I can work without having my work permit tied to our annually-renewing visa. It means we're still aliens, but we're legal aliens now...thanks Sting - I now have your mantra singing in my head. It means we won't expire for 10 years, we can come and go as we please, and while we still can't vote and could still get the old DHS black leather boot toe to the butt if we "abuse our status" - (whatever that means), but it mostly means.......

We can have a red, white and green party late February/early March! That's right, it will be happy hour at the Schmidt house with red and white wine and green beer.

I feel very blessed and appreciative, if I can rip a page from this blog to gush gratitudinally to the immigration gods for just a moment. Having to potentially move out of the country in 4 short weeks (if the horrific should happen) was not my idea of fun....especially having just bought a house at the height of the market, having just remortgaged to the tune of a full 2% interest rate drop, and having a kid enrolled in one of the top, albeit lottery, schools in the nation, which has literally hundreds of kids on a waitlist waiting for him to pull out. 'Twould not have been a good time to jump ship.

And I can't lie. I'd like to be both witness and change agent in this momentous, rebuilding time in US history. I'm glad it came through in the week following Obama's inauguration (even though I know it was rubber-stamped in the last days of Bush empire). But mostly I'm just happy, happy, joy, joy, glad. Our relief is palpable.

Bachelorette #1
Holy Hub and the kids were all away this weekend - Holy Hub and Holy Daughter on a Brownie overnight excursion and Holy Son at a Scout camp outing - and so I had 28 hours to myself yesterday/today.

I had all kinds of plans for this magical time. I was going to go on a girlie getaway or maybe take some artsy fartsy classes. Or I was going to go see a chick flick or maybe take myself out on a romantic solitary date. I was going to crank tunes and disco dance with my Swiffer Jet mop turned microphone to this and this, without having to hear anyone yell at me to turn it down, tune out and get with the new millennium. I was also going to get six million manuscript pages written and finish all kinds of incomplete projects and just generally be a lean, mean productive machine.

In the end, I pondered all of the above and chose none. I didn't even eat dinner. I just putzed from one thing to another - revelling in the space of having untold number of possibilities yet having the freedom to ultimately choose none.

I did manage to sneak in the time and headspace to read Daniel Pink's book, A Whole New Mind and felt re-energized that I am that scary, random kind of thinker (I'm an ENFP) who will potentially adapt and thrive in this new conceptual age that he insists has dawned. He hints that MFAs will replace MBAs - this has me secretly scoping out local MFA programs - shhh, don't tell Holy Hub that - it could be grounds for divorce.

But more to the point, I think it's exciting to be raising resilient and outside-the-norm-thinking box children in this new age. I sense a creative renaissance emerging - I spoke of this in the previous blog post - such that they will be the amongst the first generation of Cultural Creative offspring who set about lighting the world on fire in a meaningful and engaging way.

How cool is that?

Anyhoo, here's hoping you have a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious SuperBowl Sunday! Go Cardinals!