Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Has Hell finally frozen over or did I see Porky flying outside?

I agreed with Bush! As I listened to his address about the immigration issue,s I found mjyself agreeing with a majority of his points.

1. National Id cards with biometric information: we already have cards on the way tot hat final ID card. My Green Card has an inch thick magnetic strip on the back that has my fingerprints, personal information, alien number and who knows what else. They can track me through that, and I'm an almost Citizen. So, why shouldn't temporary visitors - be it a tourist or temporary worker - get one too? If they don't like it, it's their choice but it might be necessary.

2. Knowledge of the english knowledge: Duh! How can anybody who does not even know the basics of the English language, expect to be a fully participating citizen in this country? If you want to move to a country, at least know the language enough to get by. We are required to show a certain degree of English knowledge to come study here, why isn't the same required of people coming to live here?

3. Employers will be fined for hiring illegal immigrants: This should have been in process way before this. Why should they be allowed to go scot-free for hiring these people because they can pay them below minimum wage. They are not completely guilt free in this situation. If there weren't employers willing to hire them, they wouldn't be crossing over so eager to work for 3 bucks an hour.

Now, here are some things that just made me throw my hands up in the air and say "WHAT???"

1. He proposed to have temporary worker visas for people to come nin and do jobs "the American people won't dp." WTF? Why won't the American people do these jobs? Is cleaning toilets, waiting on people, harvesting crops and so on too below the American citizen now? Oh wait, I forgot, they can sit at home, have babies and get welfare from the government. It's easier to get handouts than to work for a living.

2. It is difficult for employers to check work papers. Again, WHAT? I gave about a gazillion different documents to my current employer and the checking they are doing into everything I gave them will take them 3 weeks. I agree that's a little extreme because it's a government job BUT it is possible to check everything a person hands in. It might take money and time on the employers' part but it's needed, so they should hunker down and do it!!!

A co-worker and I came up with the perfect solution for this: send all the illegal immigrants back. Take all the able bodied people on welfare and put them in those jobs. Problem solved!!!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

New apartment, new furniture, very excited

Here are photos from our new apartment fully furnished:

The photos start with the door to our apartment. That's followed by our foyer/living room/dining room combination. Our new furniture is awesome, I love the burgundy couches with the beige trim. I love the couch chair that's bigger than an average loveseat. I love the ginghamy chair with the ottoman. I love our hallway console table which I prefer to call my wall table. Not too fond of the tv cart; but hey cannot beat 19.99 at Wal-mart :-P. But, really fond of the man sitting on the ottoman :-D.

Following those are photos from the second bedroom, which we've converted into a study. Jeff put together that desk, found some pieces missing and is now awaiting the reciept of two pipes and the rest of it will be put on it. The closets are still messy but they are the last things left to organize.

Then the bathroom shot with our colorful shower curtain.

Ohhhh and then my favorite piece of furniture - our 4 poster bed yayyyyyyyy!!! The delivery guys found the top canopy broken so we have to wait for that now. But, we have a bed and mattress set, that sits 4 feet off the ground. I had to take a leap to get on it BUT we have a bed! I love my dresser, chest and night chest as well.

Then are 3 photos of our walk through closet. There's my side that looks like it exploded with shoes and clothing. Then, there's Jeff's side, which looks a little, um, empty.

At the end are photos of our kitchen It is finally fully stocked. It's nice cooking on our range, eating off our dishes etc. Also nice having our appliances. By the way, in that last photo, to the left is a bagel slicer. It has 2 blades that go back and forth very fast and cut your bagel at the press of a button. Oh, and we realised we have a decent sized kitchen with not enough cabinet space. So, our food is wherever we could fit it :-) I love our square plates too.

Oh, and we have a patio. The weather's been wonderful here, in the late 60s at night and early 70s during the day.

In the end, I have figured out we can accomodate the following number of guests in our apartment:

- 2 adults and 2 children or 4 children in our bedroom, because the king bed is the size of India.
- 1 adult or 2 children on our couch because that's the size of Texas.
- 1 smaller sized adult or 1 child on the sofa seat which is the size of a daybed.
- 2 adults or 4 children who don;t mind camping on the living room floor.
- 2 adults or 4 children who don't mind bunking on the study floor (or the futon we might have next month).
- 2 adults or 4 children who don't mind bunking on our patio :-P.

So, all in all, 9 adults and 2 children or 19 children or any other combination. Guess what that means is, none of you have any excuses for not visiting us. If you don't have our address, email me at sylvie dot williams at gmail dot com.

Again, all the photos are at http://www-personal.si.umich.edu/~skhajuri/albums/glen_burnie/

A week of firsts

Let me start with the most recent and work backwards:

Today: Tuesday, May 9th 2006: My first day driving my Honda Element to work. It was great. I like being higher up off the ground but not feel like I am looming over people. The subwoofer they threw in it is amazing, I can blast my bhangra like nobody else's business :-P.

Yesterday: Monday, May 8th 2006: My first day at work. I had a 5 hour orientation with Lockheed Martin which involved going over procedures, filling out reams of paperwork, and getting my ID badge that lets me into secured places. I also spent about 2 hours at my own building which is pictured right here:

I met my boss's boyfriend and dog for the first time and was ensured they'd be around a lot. She has a goldendoodle, which is a hypoallergenic dog breed - a combination of golden retriever and poodle. She is so cute and I have decided that's the breed I want. It's cute, friendly, doesn't shed and doesn't make me sneeeze. What else could I want?

Day before yesterday: Sunday, May 7th 2006: Jeff and I ventured into Baltimore for the first time. I am not sure of what I was expecting but what I saw was not it. Baltimore is such a cute little big town. Parts of it - sloping streets, shoebox houses, the pier etc. - reminded me of San Francisco, without the garbage and cold. After visiting Detroit (granted I only visited Detroit a grand total of 5 times maybe, but these are all first impressions), I found Baltimore to be a town that's gotten new life breathed into it while Detroit is a dying town. When I first drove through Detroit (after getting lost coming back from a baseball game), it was depressing. On the other hand, driving through Baltimroe was enchanting - that's the word that popped up in my head. There are these really old building that have been made into apartments. The churches have exquisite architecture. Some of the streets still have original cobblestones. We saw the church where Francis Scott Key died (the guy who wrote the Star Spangled Banner). We drove by the street where Edgar Allen Poe is buried (we have plans on going back there). We saw these tourist buses that are called Ducks and are land to water vehicles (we have plans to go on those too). We saw the Peabody library, which is said to have a very impressive five tiered architecture inside and even more impressive non-circulating collection. Plans to go there as well. We got some good pictures:

Day before the day before yesterday: Saturday, May 6th 2006: Jeff and I went down to the Annapolis Mall where he'll be working, starting tomorrow. And, on the way there, we got a flat tire for the first time on my new Element. Jeff had to take it in Monday; he argued with them and got them to fix it for free. It was a brand new car we bought off the lot that got the flat tire with barely a 100 miles on it.

That's all the firsts for now, I'm sure there will be more.

[Backdated: May 4, 2006] Captain's log: Day 5: Tuesday, May 3, 2006: MI to MD

Y'all heard baout the start of our trip from Ann Arbor to Baltimore a fw posts ago. Here are some photos from that drive:


Free-wheeling leader?

Friday, May 05, 2006

Final Destination

JEff and I are in our apartment, with half of our furniture and more than half of our belongings unpacked. We have t.v., Internet, hot water, and groceries. So, life's good.

But, let me take you a few days back. We left Ann Arbor on tuesday, May 2nd at 11ish in the morning. We had breakfast at home with Amy, Autumn and Jon. We then went to the Penske rental to pick up the trailer on which our car would ride all the way to Maryland. The guy pointed us to it and said "it's self explanatory, safety chains, wheel guards, and all that stuff." Well, we went over, attached the trailer to the truck. As we're hitching this thing to the truck, on our knees and hands trying to see everything that needs to be attached or hooked to something else, it starts pouring! And, I mean, POURING! So, we get the trailer hitched and we're soaked.

It stops pouring and we're trying to get the car up on the trailer, which we do with minor incidences. We hook the wheel guards up with minor problems. Then we realise that the safety chains we need to hook to the car's frame are hooked around the bottom of the trailer and attached to themselves. So, once again, we're down on our hands and knees. Once we were done, the guy was nice enough to let us use his bathroom so we could change clothes.

We made it into Linthicum Heights at about 9:30 p.m. Now, I picked this town because it was about 10 miles from our apartment and the cheapest Motel at $65/night. We check in, take our suitcases up to our room and then venture out on foot (because it's a nice night and we noticed a lot of fast food places on our way in) to find food. Taco Bell's drive through is open so we walk up ... and wait. After a few minutes, Jeff goes upto the window to ask and they say they don't serve walk ups WHAT??? Why not? Oh well, McDonald's was open so we went in there and ordered food. As we're waiting, this lady who's pissed at the service (because only one person is working the inside and the drive through), keeps making comments about how the people who work there are reall nasty, tells us that the past sunday, 2 guys had been shot a few blocks from the motel we were at.

Not something you want to hear about a place you just drove into. But thankfully, since then, about a dozen people have mentioned how that is a freak incident. It freaked me out then though. We walked out and I saw a car in the parking lot with aguy in it, and I wanted to run for the motel. Jeff wouldn't. He lit a cigarrete, and ambled slowly back while I kept looking over my shoulder expecting to be mugged.

That's the update for now. We'll have all our furniture tuesday, so we should have photos up a couple days after that.